EAGLESWOOD — An elementary school teacher has been charged with snorting morphine off his desk in front of students and another teacher in a classroom.

According to a complaint obtained by Townsquare Media, Michael Palladino, 43, of Barnegat took a plastic bag containing three beige pills with ABG-60 imprinted on them, ground them up and used an empty Bic pen to snort the powder. The incident took place on Dec. 3, the complaint says.

ABG-60 is morphine sulfate ER, an opioid used to relieve severe ongoing pain, according to the website WebMD.com. The medication changes how your body responds to pain.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said his office will conduct a full investigation into the incident with the cooperation of the New Jersey State Police.

Palladino is charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, a third-degree crime, and official misconduct, a more serious second-degree offense alleging Palladino used his public position for her personal benefit, according to the complaint.

He also is charges with a disorderly persons offense.

Palladino is listed as a teacher on the school's website. According to a check of payroll records, Palladino taught at Eagleswood for the past 16 years and earned a salary of $59,000 per year.

Eagleswood’s superintendent of schools, Deborah Snyder, has not yet returned a message regarding his status with the district.

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