A former Fox Lane High School English teacher who allegedly wrote in online conversations with a "medium" that the government was behind the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, is suing the school district for firing him.
The Bedford school district fired Pound Ridge resident Adam Heller, 35, after a disciplinary hearing on charges brought by schools Superintendent Jere Hochman that he suffered from "mental illness," the Journal News reports.
According to court documents, Heller acquired a Russian military rifle on the same day that Adam Lanza killed twenty students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
In that same month, December 2013, Heller began having online conversations with Georgia O'Connor about government conspiracies. Court documents state that O'Connor is a "medium."
During these instant messages on the popular app Words with Friends, Heller told O'Connor he was concerned about "government power and corruption, including the potential use by the government of technology to effect weather patterns and nationwide conspiracies," according to court documents.
Two weeks after the Sandy Hook School shooting, Heller purchased the first of his two guns. O'Connor began to grow concerned over his well-being and contacted the FBI, who contacted Bedford Police Chief William Hayes.Hayes alerted Pound Ridge Police Chief David Ryan who contacted Hochman.
According to police reports, on January 18, 2013, police followed Heller after school to Precision Armory gun store in Carmel, where he looked into buying a .22 caliber rifle with a removable barrel. On his way back form the gun shop police pulled him over and asked to meet at his house to talk.
According to Heller's lawsuit, there were about eight law enforcement officers already at his house. After his questioning, Heller was taken to Westchester Medical Center's Behavioral Health Unit, where it was determined that he had a fast pulse and was taken to the emergency room.
From there he was transferred to the Behavior Health Unit where he was involuntarily committed and evaluated, according to Heller's lawyer, Michael Sussman. Heller was discharged with a clearance letter saying he could return to work on February 11, 2013 and he contacted Hochman to tell him the news.
Hochman asked Heller to undergo psychiatric evaluation. Heller met with Dr. Alexander Lerman who was unable to conclude whether Mr. Heller presented a risk to others because Mr. Heller failed to cooperate with the evaluation, records state.
On May 12, the hearing officer agreed with all of the charges and terminated Heller's employment.
Heller is disputing the claim that he was uncooperative with Lerman or that he suffers from any serious mental illness, the Journal News reports.
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