North Carolina authorities are investigating former top courts administrator John Kennedy’s suspected cocaine use in his office, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. Kennedy was director of the state court administrative office until he resigned July 24. His boss, Chief Justice Beverly Lake Jr., said two agency employees last month reported to him that they saw Kennedy hide things on his desk. A search turned up “trace amounts of cocaine,” Lake said.
Kennedy, who has not been charged with a crime, said this week that he has never used cocaine. Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said that he decided not to investigate Kennedy largely because there wasn’t any material he could have arranged to have tested. Under state court rulings, a small amount of drug residue is enough to convict someone of cocaine possession, a felony. “A measurable trace amount — residue –is enough,” said Bob Farb of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Institute of Government. “If proved, it can be sufficient. Ordinarily, you’re going to have to have a lab test.” Said another lawyer: “My first thought was: What did the dog smell? f there’s not enough to test or analyze, I don’t know how you call it cocaine. But I’m not the sheriff, and I’m not the Labrador retriever.”