EES employee had marijuana, alcohol on school grounds

ELLSWORTH – A 36-year-old Ellsworth woman is no longer employed by Ellsworth Community School District after reporting to work smelling of alcohol and admitting to drinking in her car while running errands on her break.

Forfeitures for possess open intoxicants in motor vehicle – driver and school/possession/ alcohol have been filed in Pierce County Circuit Court against former Ellsworth School District Food Service employee Danielle Renaye Gilbertson. Her first court date is scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 19.

According to the police report: Ellsworth police responded at 12:12 p.m. to Ellsworth Elementary School (445 Piety St.) for an employee in possession of drugs. When the officer entered the superintendent’s office, he could smell a strong odor of alcohol. Superintendent Barry Cain had located two empty Busch Light cans in Gilbertson’s purse; she also told him she had marijuana in her vehicle, which was parked on school property.

Gilbertson told police she had not consumed alcohol on school grounds. She said she had gone to the Ellsworth Middle School Veterans Day program, then ran errands on her break. While running errands, she drank beer in her car, she said. She also claimed the beer cans in her purse were from the night before. She admitted she had more alcohol in a cooler in her vehicle, which is prohibited on school grounds. Gilbertson also had in her possession a watermelon-flavored Juana cannabis-infused sour gummy, which when tested, was under the legal limit allowed for CBD.

While speaking with Gilbertson, the officer noted her eyes were bloodshot and glossy and that her speech was slurred. She told police her speech was slurred due to being nervous.

Gilbertson gave Cain permission to move her vehicle from in front of classroom windows to the bus garage area so it could be searched away from onlookers. Inside the vehicle police located 13.6 grams of marijuana and a metal one-hitter. In a backpack, police found three empty and five full Busch Light cans, all of which appeared to have fresh condensation on them. There was also a can of Simply Spiked Drink and a White Claw.

Gilbertson refused a breath test and was allowed to walk to a friend’s house. Possession of THC on school grounds and possess drug paraphernalia charges will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office. Cain confirmed by email Monday, Nov. 14 that Gilbertson no longer works for the district.

November 15, 2022