The son of a former New York City fire commissioner who resigned from his position with the city’s Fire Department after admitting to posting several bigoted and anti-Semitic tweets is set to rejoin the department, to the ire of some black firefighters.
According to the New York Daily News, Joseph Cassano, 26, was still on FDNY probation in 2013 after several derogatory statements were found on his personal Twitter account. Cassano was only out of the Emergency Medical Services Academy for some five months when the tweets were discovered. He resigned shortly afterward.
On Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Cassano tweeted, "MLK could go kick rocks for all I care, but thanks for the time and a half today." Another post read, "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."
Another post stated: "I like Jews about as much as hitler #toofar? NOPE."
Cassano told the Daily News that his tweets were "very ignorant and very immature."
"I am very grateful to get an opportunity like this," Cassano said of his rehiring. "I've apologized for those comments and I am still apologizing for them today."
Not everyone is convinced that Cassano has been reformed.
John Coombs, the former president of the Vulcan Society of black FDNY firefighters, told the Daily News in April, when news first broke that Cassano might be reinstated, "He doesn't care about a large segment of New Yorkers."
A source told the New York Post: "The Cassano administration permitted him a chance of redemption he would never have given anyone else by allowing him to submit a resignation. He should have been dishonorably fired instead."
But the Daily News notes that Cassano has been counseled by and done community service with "Rabbi Steven Burg, then a director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center."
"I really believe I am in a great place today and will be an asset to the Fire Department," Cassano told the Daily News.