Marin County Prep School Principal Resigns After Being Found with Drugs, 21-Year-Old in Hotel: Sheriff's Deputies

The principal of a Marin County private school who police say was found in a hotel room with drugs and a 21-year-old woman last week has resigned.

Branson School's Board of Trustees said Thomas Woodrow Price, known as "Woody Price," announced the resignation in a statement to the school's families Monday.

"We are deeply troubled by these developments," said the board's chair, David Golden. "We want you to be assured that our school leadership team and our board of trustees are fully committed to the health and well-being of your children."

The school's communications director Will Kennedy said Price started at the school in the town of Ross in the spring of 2006. The independent, co-ed college preparatory school has 320 students in grades 9-12.

Price, 54, of Ross, was arrested Friday at the Hyatt Place hotel in Rancho Cordova on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine for sale and possession of cocaine. He posted bail on Saturday and was released from jail, Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos said.

Ramos said the woman, identified as 21-year-old Brittney Hall, 21, of Elk Grove, also was arrested on suspicion of the drug offenses.

The sheriff's office received a call shortly after noon from a man who said he was Hall's boyfriend. The man asked deputies to check on his girlfriend, who was at a hotel with an older man who was giving her drugs, Ramos said.

Price answered the hotel room door and deputies saw a woman unresponsive in bed, Ramos said. Price said the woman was all right but she did not respond until she was physically shook and awakened.

Ramos said the quantity of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs in the room indicated they were being sold.

Price had turned 54 the night before and told the deputies he and Hall had a "casual relationship," Ramos said.

"He alluded to her as his girlfriend," Ramos said.

Hall did not need medical attention and she and Price were booked into the Sacramento County Jail, Ramos said.

Golden thanked the Branson families for their patience and understanding of the incident and said the board will communicate with the school community when it has more information about the case.

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