School official: Bus driver suspended following alcohol arrest

2012-02-04T15:45:00Z School official: Bus driver suspended following alcohol arrestBy Joyce Russell, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222

PORTAGE | Kolleen Lampa, 44, of Portage, has been suspended from her job as a Portage Township Schools bus driver after her arrest Thursday. She is accused of driving drunk with a school bus filled with children.

Superintendent Mike Berta said the administration will recommend to the School Board that Lampa be terminated.

"This is certainly unacceptable behavior on the part of any employee, particularly a bus driver," Berta said, adding he does not recall any other similar incident during his tenure with the district.

Lampa failed four breath tests hours after pulling into a school lot, according to a police report. She was arrested on two felony charges and three misdemeanor offenses.

Lampa was reported to school district officials after another school bus driver told them she could smell alcohol on Lampa's breath during an argument, the report states.

Lampa drove 44 fifth-grade students and two teachers about three miles from Myers Elementary School to Portage High School before parking her bus.

The other school bus driver contacted Portage Township Schools Transportation Supervisor David Harman after she suspected Lampa had been driving drunk.

Harman called police after speaking with Lampa and taking her to St. Mary's Occupational Heath in Portage, where she took two chemical tests for intoxication.

Harman told officials he believed Lampa may have driven her normal morning bus route and the special field trip route while drunk, according to the report.

Berta said the other bus driver and Harman took the right steps and followed district policy in the incident.

Lampa was charged with one felony count and two misdemeanor counts of operating while intoxicated and a felony count of neglect of a dependent, the report states.

Lampa was released late Thursday afternoon after posting $1,000 bail.

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