A firefighter who once tweeted against Jews, African-Americans and the poor has been assigned to a station in Borough Park, an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, the New York Post reported Saturday.
Joseph M. Cassano, 28, the son of a former Fire Department commissioner, Salvatore Cassano, was forced to resign from his post as a fire department medical technician in 2013 after exposure of a series of tweets he had written before being employed by the city that vilified Jews, blacks and women.
He wrote, “I like jews about as much as hitler,” called a black rapper a “dumb shwoogie,” and said he was “Getting sick of picking up all these obama lovers and taking them to the hospital because their medicare pays for an ambulance and not a cab.” On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he posted, “MLK could go kick rocks for all I care, but thanks for the time and a half today.”
When he resigned, Cassano issued an apology and the fire department re-hired him in July 2015.
On Wednesday, he graduated from the Fire Academy and was attached to the Borough Park station.
“For him to be assigned to Borough Park, where you have an incredible number of Holocaust survivors, is an insult to our community,” Assemblyman Dov Hikind told the New York Post. “Put him somewhere else.
“All of us make mistakes, but we’re talking about a guy who made the kind of vile remark that is so hateful and beyond the pale,” added Hikind, whose parents were Auschwitz survivors. “I want to be fair, but when you make that kind of statement, you lose me. I’m done with you.”
Hikind said the Fire Department of New York should “find a community that doesn’t have a problem with what he said. He can do his job there.”
A spokesman for the New York fire department said, “Probie assignments are at the discretion of the Department, and every member is expected to perform their duties with dedication, commitment and compassion to the people they serve — for which they will be held accountable.”