NYC Fire Commissioner's Son Resigns After Posting 'Offensive' Tweets


Joseph CassanoJoseph Cassano, 23, isn't the first person to lose a job over misbehavior in social media. But when Cassano resigned over racially-tinged tweets that he now admits were offensive, it made big news. That's because Cassano dreamed of following in the footsteps of his father, New York City Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano.

Joseph Cassano had been working for the city as a emergency medical technician for only three months when higher-ups noticed his tweets. Cassano, whose Twitter account has since been suspended, posted jokey messages about hating his job, unsavory notes about "boob jobs," and inflammatory remarks about Jews and African-Americans. He tweeted, "I like jews about as much as Hitler #toofar? NOPE," reported CBS New York. And, "Getting sick of all these obama lovers taking them to the hospital because their medicare pays for an ambulance and not a cab."

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Even Mayor Bloomberg publicly commented on the matter, saying that he found Joseph Cassano's tweets "offensive."

On Monday, Joseph Cassano apologized in a written statement: "From the bottom of my heart, I'm truly sorry and I apologize for my offensive remarks. My intention was never to hurt anyone, or any group, and these tasteless comments do not reflect the person my parents raised me to be."

He then resigned. His father, Salvatore Cassano, a Vietnam veteran who over his four-decade firefighting career is credited with saving many lives and has won numerous medals for bravery, released a statement of his own.

"I am extremely disappointed in the comments posted online by my son, Joseph, which do not reflect the values -- including a respect for all people -- that are held by men, my family and the FDNY," he said. "... As a parent, this is very painful for me, but I believe my son has made the right decision."

The incident is particularly embarrassing because the fire department has been embroiled in a racial controversy of its own. For years, the Vulcan Society, the city's black firefighters' association, has accused the department of rampant racism. Last year, a judge ruled that the Fire Department of New York had racially discriminatory hiring practices, and found the city liable for wage losses of almost $130 million for all the black and Latino applicants who were wrongfully denied jobs.

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The commissioner slammed the ruling at the time, stating, "I've been in the department 42 years, I've never seen intentional discrimination."

Members of the Vulcan Society believe young Cassano's tweeting has undermined his father's credibility. "I wonder where young Cassano got such thinking?" John Coombs of the Vulcan Society told CBS New York. "I wonder where he found the courage to tweet what he tweeted, to make comments about people he was supposedly serving."

Cassano is not the first New York City employee to face heat over racially offensive comments online. In 2011, police officers made several comments on Facebook about the city's annual West Indian Day Parade, referring to the paraders as "savages" and "animals" and the event as the "unemployment parade." The NYPD ended up disciplining 17 officers.


View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.




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Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at claire.gordon@teamaol.com. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.

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dvw747

This AH is nothing new or exciting, thanks anyway for your 15 minutes of shame you fool, nice to know some of you will let your real flags fly despite how ugly you really are.

March 20 2013 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Malachy Murray

We are so sick of people like this! Snot nose white suburbanites born on third base and sliding into home plate. Blaming his "plight" on those with lesser than his tweeny, privilaged, over pamped ass. No doubt daddy pulled some strings to get him where he was and this is how his thankless, self-serving moron son thanks him? With all his "gifts" Godforbid he try and do something great. Daddy shouldda taught you something about COURAGE, young man. We expect a little more than this from the leader of the men we call our "BRAVEST".

March 20 2013 at 12:25 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Kristina

Wow .. Mel Gibson come again. No disclaimer or attempt to mitigate these remarks afterwards can soften or discount them .. they are from a person who believes exactly what he was saying, through and through. He most assuredly did the right thing by resigning .. there is no salvaging what he said, nor a place for a person in any sort of public service who holds the views he does.

March 20 2013 at 12:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
hpmustang1

His opinion is what many feel about our free loading society thanks to all the Obama Administration hand outs. The low lifes get a runny nose and go to the ER This is how to eliminate the long wait to see a Doctor. The majority of decent people that pay for their health insurance wait their turn to see their Doctor.The free loaders spread the word that they can save time by going to the ER for faster treatments though they don't pay for it. How great this nation could have been if a law had been in effect that no one could sell slaves to the United States . No sellers no buyers.Makes sense to me. Yet 200 years later these people are claiming African slave ancestory though they can't find Africa on the world map and yet feel that the world owes them everything for the past doings of their own ancestors actions.in starting the slave market..

March 20 2013 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to hpmustang1's comment
highhandlowmaine

Wow....in all you wrote you managed to blame everyone but the actual people who caused the slave trade....blacks are the problem, huh? Well, do something about it, finger warrior. Do something besides hiding in your closet and typing like a coward. How many of the healthcare workers that serve those with and without insurrance are black....idiot. You suggest that Arican Americans are "claiming" slave heritage....Well. what other way allowed them to be here? It wasn't like the immigration laws supported blacks migrating here as part of a free society.....nim-wit. You have to be the dumbest person in the world....bar none. BUT you are like most racist....you are a coward. Like I said do something.

March 20 2013 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to highhandlowmaine's comment
Wildman52

Blacks did start the slave trade, kidnapping and selling to slave traders members of other tribes. You need to educate yourself before calling someone else a coward or racist. Blacks are the biggest promoters of racism in the US. Keep complaining about coming from slaves, and selling drugs because it is easier than working

March 20 2013 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
mm30ga

Thanks for your racist remarks. Look forward to seeing you on the new soon.

March 20 2013 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rozie874

What an idiot. Who in their right mind would post multiple comments like this. Oh, that right a 23 year old idiot. Sorry, it makes one think what the heck was being said in that house. Dad butt should go to..

March 20 2013 at 11:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ilovestevetindle

omg!!!PLEASEEEE!! WHO CARES WHAT HE SAYS HE HAS THAT RIGHT . WHY IS IT THAT I HEAR A BLACK PERSON CALL ANOTHER BLACK PERSON A "*****". AND THATS NOT RACIAL BUT WHEN A WHITE MAN MAKES A COMMENT BECAUSE HE HAS THE RIGHT TO "FIRST AMENDMENT" ITS A BIG DAM DEAL. GET OVER IT !!

March 20 2013 at 11:35 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to ilovestevetindle's comment
Jackie

I am not saying I altogether agree with his comments, but right or wrong, the FIRST AMENDMENT gives him the right to say what he wants without punishment.

March 20 2013 at 10:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Jackie's comment
the aol experien

Listen I think it is horrible that he stated his real feelings of racism, but fire someone because of it, I think not. The minute that WE ALL are honest and when we state something that is anti-social, there should be a forum, ask the individual why? Then we can get over this political seperation in the guise of political correctness, and HONESTLY talk about our differences, hatreds and bigotry. I believe there are two truths, one is that some of these rants are truthful (but no one wants that) and one is just ugly stupidity of fear.

March 20 2013 at 10:47 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to the aol experien's comment
Kristina

the article doesn't say he was fired .. it says he resigned.

March 20 2013 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dvw747

He quit, no one fired him, actually it was Twitter or Face Book that got him to quit, keep posting ya'll.

March 20 2013 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tommy Wayne

I have to agree with him on the ambulance rides for Osama supporters. The rant about Jews is wrong.

March 20 2013 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tommy Wayne's comment
mm30ga

Your another idiot. Some of those ambulance riders are not minorities. You guys need to grow up, go back and read a real history book and stop believing your own foolishness. This man was wrong, he is supposed to be a survant of all people. If I knew someone like this was supposed to be helping me, just let me die. I think this is an utter disgrace and those of you who hold the same beliefs are disgraceful too. No wonder why the world can't get on the right track.

March 20 2013 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jmc

Stupidity and immaturity is his claim to fame now. Thank God he disclosed his lack of self control before he got any higher up in life. Now he doesn\'t have to concern himself with the \"higher up\" part unless...he joins a neo Nazi or KKK. LOOSER!

March 20 2013 at 10:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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