SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A former middle school teacher acquitted of assaulting a student last year has filed a federal lawsuit against a northeastern Pennsylvania school district.

The (Scranton) Times-Tribune ( ) reports that William Yelland's suit alleges that Abington Heights School District officials pressed for meritless charges against him in order to appease a community member with political ties.

The Dalton man alleges that officials conducted a "sham" investigation that falsely portrayed him as a "violent predator" to justify the decision to terminate him and also refused to submit his case to arbitration.

Yelland was accused of placing an eighth grade student in a choke hold in April 2015. He was acquitted in November of simple assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

The school district declined comment on the suit Tuesday.


Information from: The Times-Tribune,