Syracuse firefighter pleads not guilty to felony in connection to fatal hit and run

Ted Ackerman walks into Syracuse City Court on Friday/ Photojournalist Dennis Harmon

Ted Ackerman has pleaded not guilty to tampering with physical evidence in connection to a deadly hit and run last month.

Ackerman, 37, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in Syracuse City Court Friday morning. Bail was set at $10,000 cash, $20,000 bond. He posted bail and left the Onondaga County Justice Center Friday afternoon.

Ackerman is the second person charged for the hit and run crash that claimed the life of 18-year-old Seth Collier on March 21st; a former investigator for the Onondaga County DA's office, accused of striking Collier and leaving the scene, has also been charged.

Ackerman, a Syracuse firefighter, was suspended last month amidst the investigation into the hit and run. A city spokesperson tells CNYCentral Ackerman remains suspended after Friday's arraignment pending "a due process hearing afforded him under civil service law," however because state civil service law does not allow employees to be suspended without pay beyond 30 days, Ackerman is now suspended with pay.

Ackerman has been on the job as a Syracuse firefighter for 13 years and has been assigned to the city's busiest unit, Rescue One. He's also a trained EMT.

Ackerman is the President of the Pastime Athletic Club; court documents say the car that allegedly hit 18-year-old Seth Collier was found in the club's parking lot early Tuesday morning. The felony complaint against Ackerman alleges he unplugged a video recording device at the club after the accident.

Peter Rauch is accused of driving the car that hit Collier. Rauch, 37, has been charged with leaving the scene of a deadly crash.

RELATED | Prosecutors await result of Peter Rauch's blood test before making next move

Following the crash, Rauch was fired from his job as an investigator for the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office and his part-time work as a police officer in Liverpool.

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