(JTA) — A newly graduated New York City firefighter who had quit as an EMT after his racist and anti-Semitic tweets came to light was transferred out of a heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Brooklyn following his first day.
Joseph Cassano, the son of a former fire commissioner, worked Monday at a Borough Park station, but the Jewish community complained. Cassano has been reassigned to Great Kills in Staten Island.
State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who is Orthodox, had called for a demonstration later this week in front of the Borough Park firehouse, which was canceled after news of the transfer. Hikind also called the mayor’s office to complain about Cassano’s placement.
“The City and the FDNY did the right thing,” Hikind said. “People who hate Jews should not be trusted to save them from fires. Good luck to the community where he’s re-assigned.”
Cassano, 28, once tweeted “I like Jews about as much as hitler.” He also wrote: “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 Day in 2013 he tweeted, “MLK could go kick rocks for all I care, but thanks for the time and a half today.”
In 2013, Cassano was allowed to resign after the tweets came to light. He received counseling from Rabbi Steven Burg, then a director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. After the counseling and an apology, he was allowed to return to work as an EMT and apply to become a firefighter.
His father is Sal Cassano, who served as commissioner from January 2010 to June 2014.