Keller school board hopeful arrested on drug charge

FORT WORTH -- A candidate for the Keller school board was arrested Wednesday afternoon after narcotics officers found marijuana, marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia inside his north Fort Worth home, police reported.

Officers searched the home of David Marlin Besser in the 11600 block of Winding Brook Road after getting a tip that he was providing marijuana and alcohol to teens, according to a police report.

Besser, 45, who was a member of the school district's bond committee in 2008, is running against Trustee Cindy Lotton for Place 3. The election is Saturday.

Besser remained in the Mansfield Jail late Thursday with bail set at $500. He faces a charge of possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor. He was also being held on three traffic warrants out of Wilmer with fines totaling $1,723.60, jail records show.

The police report states that two of Besser's three daughters -- ages 9 and 15 -- were removed from the home by Child Protective Services because of the living conditions that officers found.

"When investigators were inside the residence, they observed dog feces stains on the carpet throughout the residence, as well as fresh and several day-old dog feces, including in the children's rooms," said Lt. Paul Henderson, a Fort Worth police spokesman.

Child Protective Services spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said no children from the home were placed in foster care.

According to the report, police seized about six grams of marijuana, including five marijuana plants that were found inside a closet in the master bedroom. Police also seized pipes used for smoking, including three glass pipes of the kind often used to smoke methamphetamine. None of that drug was found, according to the report.

Besser was arrested after he arrived at the house while police were there.

"He told police he was there to drop off some campaign signs because he was running for Keller ISD's board of trustees," Henderson said.

The police report states that officers had been to the house April 25 after a caller complained about loud music. Neighbors have told police about frequent parties at the residence with underage drinking, the report stated.

According to Besser's Facebook page, he served 10 years in the U.S. Navy, was combat decorated and honorably discharged.

The page states that he owns a business providing information technology to the hotel and resort industries and is an active member of the Woodland Springs PTA.

In an interview with the Star-Telegram about his candidacy, Besser said he is a single father with full custody of three daughters.

"From all these experiences, I've learned to make decisions, especially tough ones," Besser said.

Shellie Johnson, a Keller district spokeswoman, said Thursday that Besser is still a candidate. Beyond that, she said, district officials had no comment.

According to state election code, a person cannot hold public office if they've been convicted of a felony.

DEANNA BOYD, 817-390-7655