A-A teacher charged with marijuana possession

An Alfred-Almond teacher has been arrested after marijuana was allegedly found in his Olean home. Thomas Cummins, a tenured grade 7-12 social studies teacher with the district since 2001, was removed from the school at 10:30 a.m. Friday following an investigation led by members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, City of Olean Police Department and Task Force agents from the Buffalo office of the DEA. Cummins, 53, of Olean was charged with second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class D felony, and unlawfully growing marijuana, a misdemeanor.

“We are cooperating fully with NYS Police in this matter, keeping foremost in our actions the safety and well being of our students, staff and community,”Superintendent Rich Calkins wrote in a letter sent to students and parents Friday. “As details develop I will keep everyone as fully informed as I am able to do.” A search warrant was executed at the teacher’s residence which resulted in the seizure of more than one pound of processed marijuana along with materials and equipment used in the process of growing marijuana.

Calkins said he and Secondary School Principal Susan Bain-Lucey “are working quickly to find a qualified substitute teacher for Cummins’ classes, so that the disruption to the learning process is as minimal as possible.” Cummins has been placed on administrative leave until the matter is resolved, Calkins said.  He was processed at the City of Olean Police Department, arraigned at Olean City court and released under supervision pending further court action.

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