History professor charged with possession of painkillers

An Augustana professor was taken into custody yesterday by the Rock Island Police Department on charges for allegedly possessing prescription painkillers, and has since been remanded on a $10,000 bond.
Lendol G. Calder, 57, a professor in the history department, appeared in the Rock Island County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon for his first appearance, where he was advised on the charges, rights and penalties, according to the police reports.
Dr. Calder has since posted 10 percent of the $10,000 bond and has been released but is unavailable for comment on the incident.
“We are aware of the situation,” said Sam Schlouch, director of public relations for the college. Schlouch “doesn’t have any other information at this time.”
The college works in compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act (1988) and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986. The college’s drug and alcohol policy, found in the employee handbook, prohibits the illegal use, possession, dispensation, distribution, manufacture or sale of alcohol and other drugs by employees in the workplace or in the course of their duties for the college.
The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus reported that the alleged possession charge is a Class 4 felony, which can lead to a conviction of up to three years in prison if convicted. Further reports account that Calder was allegedly found off campus on Monday with “less than 50 grams of a substance containing tramadol, an opioid pain medication, without a prescription.”
The college’s employee handbook also states that “any employee found to have violated this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including termination or dismissal.” The college can refer individuals to treatment in addition to other actions.
Calder has worked for the college since 1996, and was named a Carnegie Scholar and Illinois Professor of the Year in 2010. Calder’s scholarship appears in journals and his 1999 book “Financing the American Dream: A Cultural History of Consumer Credit,” gained recognition from popular press such as the Wall Street Journal.
A preliminary hearing is set for Calder on May 10.