Levittown teacher faces child porn charges

A Levittown middle school teacher and volunteer firefighter was arrested on federal child pornography charges Friday, police say.
According to an FBI spokesperson, 42-year-old Richard Hartig, who teaches science at Island Trees Memorial Middle School, is accused of downloading videos of child pornography on his home computer in Lindenhurst. Investigators reportedly caught Hartig in the act when they entered an Internet chat room featuring child porn.
News of Hartig's arrest shocked students and parents at the Levittown school, as well as in the surrounding community. T.J Romano, 11, says his teacher is not someone one you would expect to engage in improper behavior.
"It's very scary, and it makes me very angry that my child was with him every single day," says Tracy Romano, of Levittown.
Island Trees School Board member Joe Buda issued a statement following Hartig's arrest saying that "it would be disappointing for the school if it's true." Buda added, however, that he believes everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Hartig also has worked as a volunteer firefighter in Lindenhurst for five years. According to the Lindenhurst fire chief, the department suspended Hartig until further notice.
Hartig pleaded not guilty to the charges Friday. He is being held without bail.