An appeal by Alderman Walter R. Hart, representing the thickly settled Jewish district of Brownsville in Brooklyn, to Aldermanic President Bernard S. Deutsch, not to countenance bigotry and intolerance in whatever form, marked the discussion yesterday by the Board of Aldermen of bigotry charges against Dr. Charles Fama.
Dr. Fama, whose removal as a member of the Medical Board of the New York City Employes’ Retirement Fund is sought by the Aldermen, was declared on the basis of an Aldermanic inquiry, to be unfit to hold office. The report of the inquiry committee of which Alderman Hart was chairman, was adopted by the board yesterday afternoon without dissenting voice.
The resolution notes that Mayor LaGuardia, who appointed Dr. Fama, has accepted full personal responsibility for the appointment, but calls upon him to heed the findings of the Aldermanic committee and his own public conscience.
“Mr. President,” Alderman Hart shouted, addressing Mr. Deutsch, “you and I are of the same faith and I call upon you not to countenance intolerance or bigotry, whether it be anti-Catholic or anti-Jewish. You cannot delegate your responsibilities to the Mayor. Those responsibilities were conferred upon you by the electorate of the city. As a member of the Board of Estimate it is up to you to state your own mind in the matter.”
Mr. Deutsch said, at the conclusion of the session, last night, that he would state his position and vote in accordance with his own views on the Board of Estimate, when the Mayor, to whom the matter has been referred, has made known his decision.
Dr. Fama has been accused of vigorous anti-Catholic utterances in speeches, one of which was made before a gathering of the Ku Klux Klan, some years ago, in Jamaica. Other utterances complained of were published in various publications during the past four years.
He has denied that he is anti-Catholic and has contended that he is simply anti-Fascist. Fama, who left the Catholic faith to become a Protestant, was also accused of being anti-Semitic. This he also denies. No anti-Semitic utterances have ever been attributed to him.