Parents and faculty at the school are in shock and disbelief that their beloved principal is being accused of possessing not only methamphetamine for sale, but ecstasy and the date rape drug GHB.
With his head hung low, Principal Eric Lewis made his first court appearance four days after his arrest. Acting on a tip, an agent with the Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team, a county narcotics task force, made contact with the 42-year-old on the gay dating website Adam4Adam.com. The two agreed to meet at an undisclosed Caltrain station where investigators say Lewis was going to sell drugs.
It was a surprise to students, parents, and faculty at Montague Elementary School in Santa Clara and even to Deputy District Attorney Daniel Rothbach who's prosecuting the case. "It was surprising to see that happen in this case, but I think it's pretty shocking to the communty as well, but it's important that we treat him the same as we would treat any other person that comes through the system," he said.
Lewis' arrest prompted a search warrant that led officers to his San Francisco apartment where more drugs were found. "About a quarter of an ounce of methamphetamine, seven pills of what is suspected to be MDMA or ecstasy, and three or four vials of GHB," Rothbach said. If convicted on the five felonies and one misdemeanor against him, Lewis could spend a maximum of eight years and four months in state prison.
Monday was the first day in seven years at Montague Elementary without Lewis at the helm. Parents and faculty alike describe him as well-liked and respected. He's credited with improving grades and test scores during his tenure. "We're shocked. I think shocked is the word that keeps coming from everybody in the district," SCUSD Superintendent Bobbie plough told ABC7 News.
"I was really shocked. Everybody is so shocked," one woman said.
"We were really quite disappointed because Mr. Lewis is quite respected here," said another.
Lewis remains in custody at Elmwood Jail in Santa Clara County. His bail is set at $25,000. He will be back in court Friday and will need a public defender before he can enter a plea.