Legislators urge FDNY to terminate firefighter for racist tweets

Legislators want to move Joseph Cassano, who was moved from one firehouse to another over racist tweets he made five years ago, out of the department altogether

By Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The FDNY has already moved him from one firehouse to another over racist tweets he made five years ago -- now legislators want to move probationary firefighter Joseph Cassano out of the department altogether.

"We have been saying for years now that this individual, who has expressed hate toward multiple groups, including the African-American and Jewish communities, should not be working with the public in any diverse neighborhood of our great city," City Councilman Andy King (D-Bronx) said Tuesday.

King spoke out after he learned that Cassano, son of former Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, was moved from Engine 247 in Borough Park -- the "Hot Stuff" firehouse -- to Engine 162/Ladder 82 in Great Kills, Staten Island, where firefighters are nicknamed "The Harbor View Boys."

The department quietly moved Cassano from his first post just days after his graduation on Wednesday -- once legislators in the Orthodox Jewish community heard about the assignment.

Protesters were going to get together Thursday to show their disapproval, but the gathering was canceled after FDNY bigwigs took Cassano out of Borough Park, sources with knowledge of the situation said.

Cassano resigned in disgrace in 2013 when his tweets -- saying he liked Jews as much as Hitler and that Martin Luther King could "kick rocks" -- came to light.

He also blasted the city's Emergency Medical Service -- saying everyone wanted to be firefighters, not emergency medical technicians, and accused his patients of using ambulances instead of cabs because Medicare pays for them.

Because he quit before he got fired, Cassano was able to rejoin EMS and get fast-tracked into the firefighting ranks.

The FDNY did not return a request for comment.

Copyright 2018 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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