San Diego Unified School District police officer back to work after DUI arrest

Jenny Peckham never lost salary while on leave

SAN DIEGO - A San Diego Unified School District police officer who pleaded guilty to two DUI charges is back on the job, and many are unhappy about it.

Jenny Peckham, 38, was previously assigned to Patrick Henry High School until an incident in March 2012 landed her in jail.

Peckham was celebrating St. Patrick's Day with friends at Hooley's in Rancho San Diego when she became drunk, according to authorities. She boarded a shuttle bus to get a free ride home.

"She was sitting in the passenger seat of the shuttle, which she wasn't supposed to be," said bus driver Rico Carter.

Carter said Peckham exhibited unruly and disruptive behavior while onboard. After spotting some sheriff's deputies on the road, Carter stopped the bus and walked out to ask for assistance.

Carter said Peckham then jumped into the driver's seat and drove off.

Deputies briefly pursued the bus, pulled her over and arrested her on suspicion of drunken driving and auto theft.

Because of the incident, Peckham was placed on administrative leave with full pay and benefits.

The San Diego County District Attorney's Office told 10News Peckham was charged with unlawful taking of a vehicle and two DUI counts.

In July 2012, she pleaded guilty to the two misdemeanor DUI counts and the district attorney's office dropped the other charge.

10News learned Peckham never lost a dime of her salary or benefits while away from her job.

"I don't think it's acceptable that a person's coming back to work … like nothing happened," said parent Gredna Packer, whose child attends Patrick Henry High.

"As a parent, no, I just don't think that's appropriate and it's kind of a shame," said parent Sophia Thiros.  

"I think that definitely sends mixed messages to students … like if a student did that, we wouldn't get to come back," said Patrick Henry High School senior Taryn Boley.

Peckham received five years of summary probation. She received credit for four days spent in jail and had to take part in five days of public work service. She also had to meet DUI conditions for a first-time offender and attend a MADD class.

Peckham also admitted that her blood-alcohol level was .15 or higher -- twice the legal limit.

San Diego Unified School District officials confirmed Peckham is back at work, but she is no longer assigned to a school. She is now a roving patrol officer.

Print this article Back to Top