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      Teacher in porn case faces perjury charge

      A new twist in the case of an Ontario County math teacher who was suspended for downloading pornography on his school owned laptop. Michael Nicot has been charged with perjury by the Ontario County Sheriff's Department and jailed on $1,000 bail.

      The Phelps-Clifton Springs School District hopes the charge will bolster its case before the State Supreme Court to eventually fire Nicot. As we reported last August, the District was upset that it was ordered to reinstate Nicot after a six-month unpaid suspension, even though a State Education Department hearing officer found him guilty of downloading porn. It is appealing to the court in hopes that the case will be reopened.

      The district is taking the controversy a step further. In a news release issued Thursday following the perjury arrest, Superintendent Michael Ford blasted the teacher tenure system and called for specific reforms. Ford calls the process a "travesty" which encourages teachers to drag out a disciplinary process for years while collecting full pay. Ford says Nicot was suspended for two years with pay before the Education Department held a hearing on the pornography allegations.

      Ford said the delays cost taxpayers more than $200,000 dollars.

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