CINCINNATI – WLW Radio personality and defense attorney Lisa Wells was caught with non-prescribed Percocet and will remain off the air while her legal case plays out, station representatives said Wednesday.
Wells, 37, faces charges of drug possession and driving while impaired after the Ohio State Highway Patrol stopped her for reckless driving on Interstate 75 on Jan. 25.
WLW talk-show host Bill Cunningham made a point to say Wells was not on heroin or cocaine in revealing what official documents, attorneys in the case and Wells herself would not.
"In her possession was found Percocet, and I want to get that out there because when you hear about possession of drugs, you might think it's heroin, cocaine, whatever. But it was Percocet, which is a synthetic heroin," Cunningham said during his afternoon show.
Percocet is a combination of oxycodone - a narcotic - and acetaminophen and is a high-powered painkiller.
LISTEN to Cunningham's podcast.
Wells' employment with WLW is on hold, according to a statement that Program Director Scott Rinehard issued to WCPO's news partner, WVXU. It said:
"Part-time on-air talent Lisa Wells has currently been off the air on personal leave since January. Currently, listeners can hear Mike Allen on Saturdays from 9-11 a.m. Obviously, we take any type of allegation against an employee seriously. We will be monitoring the situation, but cannot share any further details on employee personal matters for privacy reasons. We will have more information pending final outcome of the charges."
Wells faces four counts of Felony 5 drug possession, one count of first-degree misdemeanor drug possession, operating a vehicle while impaired and failure to drive in marked lanes.
Wells practices law in Ohio and Kentucky and could face sanctions in both states depending on what happens in court.
Wells' only public comment has been a terse statement to WCPO on the phone Tuesday. "I am not a public figure and you should not be reporting this," she said, then promptly hung up.
A former WLW host and retired attorney, Eric Deters, lashed out at Wells in a video on his Facebook page, saying Wells isn't managing her crisis very well.
"You know what she did? She took down her social media. Stupid. Why? What's the rule? You use your Facebook and social media to communicate to your core, to your friends, to your fans, those people who care about you the most," Deters said.
The arresting officer said he found pills on the front seat of Wells' car when he stopped her southbound about 90 miles north of Cincinnati, near Piqua.
"When the driver exited, several pills were observed in plain view on the car's seat ... prescription pills were located during a probable cause search," according to the officer's report.
The pills were not prescribed to Wells, the Highway Patrol said.
The specific drug is not named in court documents or the OSHP report. WCPO has reached out to attorneys in the case for more information, but they have not responded.
Wells was stopped at 8:20 p.m. about two-tenths of a mile south of Mile Post 85, according to the report.
Wells, of West Chester, Ohio, has been a regular guest and legal analyst on WLW since 2011, according to her bio on her WLW blog. She also hosted a Saturday morning show and has served as a fill-in host on other shows.
Wells is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Miami County Municipal Court in Troy, Ohio, on March 3.