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Emily Welker, Published October 18 2013

Moorhead day care owner accused of taking care of kids while drunk

MOORHEAD – Clay County prosecutors have charged a day care owner here with endangering children at her home after allegedly taking care of them while she was drunk.

According to court documents filed Thursday in Clay County District Court against day care operator Jayne Ann Cote, 54, of Moorhead, officers were dispatched about 10:42 a.m. on Oct. 2 to a home at 22740 26th St. Circle S. on a report to a day care licensing agent that Cote was drunk while caring for children at the day care she runs out of her home.

Court documents state that when officers arrived at the home, Cote was unsteady on her feet and didn’t have her pants on correctly, and that there was cereal all over the floor.

Cote told officers she had taken a hydrocodone pill left over from a recent surgery. Officers administered a breath test, and found that Cote had a blood alcohol content of 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit to drive.

Court documents state officers interviewed parents who reported witnessing similar incidents.

One parent said Cote had lost her balance while recently trying to place his infant child on a changing table.

Cote told him she had taken a Benadryl and did not realize it would hit her so hard. She assured him she had not been drinking, the witness said.

Cote’s husband told police his wife had a drinking problem, but usually only drinks in the evening hours.

Cote was charged Thursday with four counts of gross misdemeanor neglect or endangerment of a child. Each count carries with it a potential maximum sentence of one year in jail, if convicted.

Attempts to reach Cote at her home were unsuccessful. A phone number listed as being hers was disconnected.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541