NY fire chief terminated after racist Facebook post

East Syracuse Fire Chief Jim Brewster was has been removed as the village's fire chief by its board of trustees after he used a racial slur in a comment on Facebook

By Chris Libonati
Syracuse Media Group

EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. — East Syracuse Fire Chief Jim Brewster has been removed as the village's fire chief by its board of trustees after he used the N-word in a comment on Facebook on June 28, according to East Syracuse mayor Robert Tackman. 

Brewster has also been removed from his position as the senior caretaker of the fire department, Tackman said. 

However, Brewster will stay on as a firefighter and a paid caretaker. 

An investigation by the village revealed Brewster commented, "Maxine gives the word N***** a bad name," about Rep. Maxine Waters on another user's Facebook post. Brewster could only be removed as fire chief for "incompetency or misconduct," according to section 75 of New York State civil service law and had to undergo a hearing before being removed, Tackman said. 

A judge recommended Brewster be removed and the board of trustees followed the recommendation, Tackman said. 

Brewster had been elected as volunteer fire chief in April.

First assistant chief Dave Brewster, Jim Brewster's son, and second assistant chief Tom Brewster, Jim Brewster's brother, both resigned from their leadership positions with the department Wednesday, Tackman said. They will stay on as firefighters. 

The department currently has no assistant chiefs, but is being led by acting chief Andrea Hrubin, Tackman said. 

Meetings have been set to determine who will become the department's permanent chief and assistant chiefs, though there is no timetable set for those decisions, Tackman said.

Copyright 2018 Syracuse Media Group

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