Ryan Ellis - Photo from East Aurora School District Website
BUFFALO, NY - A drug charge against an East Aurora teacher has been dropped.
Erie County district attorney Frank Sedita confirmed to 2 On Your Side that the possession of a controlled substance charge, against Ryan Ellis has been dropped because the evidence seized would be inadmissible in court. Sedita says evidence was collected in violation of Ellis' constitutional rights.
Ellis, 36, was pulled over on the city's east side by Buffalo police last month.
Police commissioner Daniel Derenda said on Friday that, "we're looking into why those charges were dropped, we'll first confer with the DA's office and then, if need be, open an internal investigation, but right now, we're looking into why the charges were dropped."
Officials won't comment on what officers specifically did wrong.
Ellis is a teacher at East Aurora High. He was placed on a leave of absence, while the charge was investigated. On Friday morning, district superintendent Brian Russ said Ellis remains on leave.
Russ later released a statement to 2 On Your Side saying, "the district will pursue whatever action it deems appropriate under the circumstances. Any action taken by the district concerning its employees is separate from any criminal process - as it expects its employees, especially its teachers, to act professionally at all times."
Buffalo police spokesperson Michael DeGeorge says the department has opened up an internal review into the matter.
A law enforcement source tells us that Ellis did not report his arrest to his supervisors in December.
No timeline has been given for when more information will be released.
Ellis was cleared to work by the state in 2003, even though he had a drug conviction a few years before.
Still, students who we've heard from at East Aurora High say he's a nice guy and a good teacher.
Ellis lives in North Tonawanda. We reached out to Ellis for comment Friday. His family says he has no response.