Cheektowaga Schools Complete Teacher Investigation

CHEEKTOWAGA, NY - Cheektowaga Schools have completed their investigation into three teachers accused of having inappropriate conversations with a former inmate at the Erie County Holding Center. This comes from an attorney representing the school district.

Elizabeth Carlson a Buffalo-based attorney, representing Cheektowaga Schools, tells 2 On Your Side, the district completed it's investigation into the three teachers earlier this month.

Carlson, who declined an on camera interview, says the district "took action," during an executive session meeting on Jan. 6. Carlson would not elaborate on what action was taken.

But, a source close to the investigation, says that "Teacher 1" was charged with wrongdoing. It's unclear what the teacher has been charged with and what the penalty may be. This is the so-called "snitch" teacher, who told Dontre Jones, while he was in the Erie County Holding Center, that another student had told on him.

It turns out that student was cooperating with police in a case separate from Jones, who was behind bars awaiting trial on manslaughter.

"I hear "Witness 1" snitched on you. Word? That's what the kids said here, oh I don't know, I really don't know. I won't find out nothing until tomorrow," Jones and the teacher are heard saying.

On the recordings, "Teacher 1" says she was informed by police not to have contact with Jones, but she did so anyway.

"I miss you. I know I miss you too. I have your picture right next to my desk. You got my picture on you, next to your desk? Yeah, it's your ID card," the teacher and Jones say.

Our source says that "Teacher 3," who's a former holding center deputy -- suspected of talking to Jones in jail -- was offered a plea deal, but that this was rejected by "Teacher 3's" attorney. Our source adds that "Teacher 2" is facing no charges. In one recording, "Teacher 2" spoke to Jones one day before his trial.

The audio recordings were released by police last November. And show teachers and students talking to Jones during class time over an 11 month period.

The teachers were not criminally charged because the Erie County DA's office says the teachers' actions didn't violate the law. Attorneys representing two of the three teachers have no comment on this story.

The teachers remain on administrative leave, meaning they are still getting paid, while their cases play out. "Teacher 1" could choose to have a hearing to appeal the charge. Meantime, Jones is in a state prison near Albany, serving a 25 year prison sentence for shooting and killing a man in May 2011 in Cheektowaga town park.


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