Manatee High teacher resigns after arrest on drug, theft charges

BRADENTON — A Manatee High School teacher who officials say pawned school electronics to feed his prescription drug addiction and threatened to attack school board employees has resigned.

Christopher J. Potter, 25, turned in a letter of resignation last week, effective May 21, Manatee County School Board attorney John Bowen said Monday.

Potter, a television production instructor and yearbook adviser, had been on paid administrative leave since his May 13 arrest on charges including possession of Oxycodone, dealing in stolen property and grand theft.

He had been scheduled to go before the school board Monday night after schools Superintendent Tim McGonegal had requested he be fired.

But because he resigned, the school board will not take any action on the matter.

Potter, who had an annual contract with the district, recently learned from administrators he would not be returning next year because of his performance in the classroom.

After Potter was notified, he told another staff member at the school he was going to bring a gun to an upcoming faculty event and use it on school board employees, school officials said. The staff member then notified administrators.

Bradenton Police Deputy Chief William Tokajer said investigators also learned he had been stealing school electronics, including Apple laptop computers and wireless transmitters, and pawning them to feed a drug addition. Police seized a .40 caliber gun, other weapons and the school property from Potter’s Sarasota residence earlier this month.

Potter is currently free on $12,750 bail.

Additional theft charges against Potter were still under review on Monday, Tokajer said.

Police did not arrest Potter for reportedly threatening to attack board members.

“That was never verified or corroborated enough to pursue charges,” Tokajer said Monday.

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