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Ammon charter school principal charged in burglary

An Ammon charter school principal is charged with burglary after police say he broke into a restaurant early Wednesday morning.

Terry Rothamer has led White Pine Charter School for three years.

For parents who described him as a friendly, very-involved part of the community, the news came as a big surprise.

“I find Principal Rothamer to be an outstanding principal, so this is a little shocking,” said Tyler Price, who has two daughters in school at White Pine, and another child who graduated from there.

At first glance, Price said he didn’t believe the man in the mug shot was the leader of his kids’ school.

“Our experience at White Pine has been great,” said Price.

But the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Rothamer, 45, is charged with burglary. They said he was found hiding in the bushes outside Ammon restaurant The Cellar shortly after the business’ alarm went off around 3 a.m.

“Still a little bit of glass on the floor, but I got most of it cleaned up,” said Scott Hinschberger, who owns the eatery.

Hinschberger said this is the first break-in throughout The Cellar’s eight years in operation.

“Well, the policeman and I kind of walked through and kind of calculated the trail, if you will,” he said.

Hinschberger said Rothamer got in through a second floor window and made a beeline for the bread freezer.

“He took some french fries, some frozen french fries,” said Hinschberger.

Then he bolted for a back room, said Hinschberger, to grab a bottle of wine from the mini-fridge. But it didn’t end there.

“He grabbed a chef’s coat and then some silverware,” said Hinschberger.

Hinschberger said he believes the alarm was tripped shortly after that. Bonneville County Sgt. Jeff Edwards said Rothamer was found hiding outside and impaired by alcohol.

Hinschberger said the few items taken were found with him.

“Pretty wild, huh?” said Hinschberger.

We went to Rothamer’s home address to hear his side of the story, but no one answered the door.

Price said no matter the outcome, his kids will stay at White Pine. But he hopes the principal can get past this.

“I think in this type of leadership position, these aren’t characteristics you would (like to) see,” said Price. “I hope the board does the right thing here.”

The White Pine Charter School board released this statement Wednesday night:”As advised by our legal counsel, all personnel matters are confidential. Board action has been taken to temporarily suspend our principal pending an investigation. We anticipate the investigation to be thorough and timely.”

White Pine Charter School serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

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