The son of a recently retired FDNY fire commissioner has quietly been rehired to become an EMT after resigning 16 months ago over a series of racist comments he posted to his Twitter account.
According to the New York Daily News, Joseph Cassano, 26, confirmed that will be rejoining the department when the next Emergency Medical Services Academy class begins on July 13.
Cassano resigned during his probationary period in 2013 when his father, Salvatore Cassano, was still the civilian administrator of the New York City Fire Department after being appointed by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
A review of the younger Cassano’s Twitter account — now suspended by Twitter — revealed a slew of racist tweets including one that read: “I like Jews about as much as hitler #toofar? NOPE.”
Another tweet stated, ““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.”
Cassano claims he was “very ignorant and very immature” at the time he wrote the offensive tweets.
“I am very grateful to get an opportunity like this,” Cassano said in an interview with the Daily News. “I’ve apologized for those comments and I am still apologizing for them today.”
The Vulcan Society — a group made of up of African American firefighters in New York City — is not pleased with the rehire, with President Regina Wilson saying, “Everybody deserves a second chance, but he doesn’t deserve a second chance with the FDNY.”
“It’s a step backward for the department,” Wilson said.
A source at the FDNY said Cassano had to reapply and faced all of the physical and psychological tests required to get back on the job.
“He realized he screwed up,” the source explained. “We’re giving him an opportunity and giving him a second chance.”