SALAMANCA - Shane Riethmiller, a former middle school science teacher, has officially resigned from the Salamanca City Central School District.
Riethmiller, a tenured teacher from Dunkirk who was recently reinstated by the Salamanca school board, was the central figure in a scandal involving a student from the district, in which he was charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse. He had previously been placed on paid leave, but the resolution allowed him to return to the district as an employee in the district office where he would not be in contact with students.
In January, he was charged with multiple misdemeanor and felony charges after an investigation found that he had allegedly had sexual contact with a female student. He was eventually charged with eight counts of first-degree disseminating indecent material to minors, one count of promoting sexual performance of a child, third-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
According to Robert Breidenstein, Salamanca superintendent, tenured teachers in New York state retain rights to their position, pay, retirement and other benefits while they are out on leave.
"Tenure teachers keep these rights when an investigation and formal charges are still pending. Similarly, the school district retains the right to reassign that person if it's something that we can accommodate," said Breidenstein. "We felt that we could do that and still maintain the appropriate level of separation between Riethmiller and the students that may or may not have been impacted by his alleged behavior."
Shortly after the resolution was passed however, Riethmiller turned in his resignation. The school board held a special meeting on Wednesday, during which time they officially accepted his resignation from the district, according to Breidenstein.
The most serious of the charges are classified as class D felonies in New York state, which can carry a maximum penalty of up to seven years per count, depending on a suspect's previous convictions.