Long Island firefighter apologizes for Facebook comment against Muslims – Steps down as district chairman

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In Ronkonkoma, New York on Long Island a firefighter who was chairman of a fire district has stepped down from his post and apologized for his comments on a newspaper’s Facebook page about an additional floor being added to an East Meadow mosque. Lakeland Fire District’s Gerald “Jerry” O’Mara has been suspended since mid-August and will now face an additional 30-days suspension for violation of the department’s social media policy.

In addition, Newsday reports O’Mara and the entire fire department will have to participate in sensitivity training.

Stefanie Dazio, Newsday:

“I apologize to anyone I hurt by my insensitive commenting and I am voluntarily stepping down as chairman of the board of fire commissioners,” he said, reading from a prepared statement.

O’Mara has been under investigation since mid-August, shortly after derogatory comments appeared on Newsday’s Facebook page in a response to a posting about the Long Island Muslim Society’s attempt to add a second floor to its East Meadow mosque. The comments, made by “Jerry Omara,” also identified the writer as a Lakeland fire commissioner.

The Aug. 15 comment, which has since been deleted, read: “Let them put a fifth floor on the building and then take them up to the Roof and throw them off it.”

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