Special education teacher arrested for being drunk at school
By Brandon Hurley
Suspicions of inebriation led to the arrest of a Greene County special education teacher at the high school last week.
Peyton Paddock, 24, who is also a former girls’ varsity soccer coach, was charged with operating while intoxicated and public intoxication following a criminal complaint by principal Brian Phillips.
Paddock has been placed on administrative leave, Greene County superintendent Tim Christensen said.
According to court documents, Phillips was concerned with Peyton Paddock’s “abnormal” behavior on the morning of Thursday, March 31 at the school and believed he may have been intoxicated.
Officers were dispatched to the school just off Highway 30 shortly after 11:30 a.m. while class was in session.
When officers arrived and approached Paddock, he admitted to having consumed Black Velvet whiskey the night prior, between 9 and 11 p.m. Officers then administered a breathalyzer test, which registered his blood alcohol level content at 0.255, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08. Paddock told officers he had not consumed any alcohol while on school grounds, but admitted that he had driven his own vehicle to work.
Officers then performed what is called a breath specimen when Paddock arrived at the Greene County jail around 2:30 p.m. The teacher’s blood alcohol level registered at 0.184, still more than double the legal limit.
Phillips later informed officers Paddock could be seen on school surveillance arriving onto the property in a 2019 Dodge Ram 1500. Upon departing his truck in the parking lot, Phillips said Paddock was “staggering” into the building.
Paddock has been the Greene County high school special education teacher since that the 2019-20 academic year.
“It’s a personnel issue,” Christensen said. “He’s currently on administrative leave as it’s being investigated.”
Last week’s critical mishap was not Paddock’s first school-related incident with ties to suspected criminal activity. He was arrested and initially charged with allegedly assaulting a Greene County student back in the fall of 2020. Several unnamed students were outside of Paddock’s residence around 10 p.m. Sept. 17 participating in the high school tradition of dispersing toilet paper on a property, court documents show. Paddock was not pleased by the late night visit, and according to records, left his home through the front door and pursued one of the students on foot. When the student reached their car and entered, a criminal complaint says Paddock reached for the handle and pushed the door into the student’s leg, pinning it between the car frame and door. He also allegedly harassed the student and a parent via text messages after the dispute, court documents say.
The original incident was not reported to law enforcement until a few days later.
A deferred judgement eventually reduced the initial charge of assault to disorderly conduct, which Paddock pled guilty to in Jan. 22, 2021. Other witness accounts from fellow students on the night of the incident said they could not tell if the victim was being harmed by Paddock. Paddock was placed on one year probation. During that same time frame, the Greene County staff member began a brief tenure as the Greene County girls’ varsity head soccer coach in the spring of 2020.
Paddock was hired to coach the Rams in prior to the 2020 season, though COVID-19 came through and cancelled his first campaign. Paddock didn’t coach his first game until 2021, his only spring on the sideline, leading the Rams to a winless, 0-17 record. Greene County was Paddock’s first head coaching job out of college. The former Monticello High School soccer star, who was twice an all-state kicker, played football at Iowa State University, handling full-time kick-off duties during the 2019 season. Paddock holds the all-time single season and career goals record at Monticello.