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Freshman Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) has hired a congressional aide who last year came under fire for insensitive Tweets sent while he worked on her campaign.
Zach Tierney, who handled field operations for Rice’s successful 4th District bid, will serve as a community representative at a $47,000 annual salary. He started Jan. 6, Rice’s office said.
The Rice campaign had disciplined Tierney last summer after Tweets he sent out under the handle “brotis redding” were reported by Newsday, and then by other media outlets.
In one of the tweets, Tierney wrote “#ImInTheFriendZoneBecause I have progressed past public physical abuse of women, but not quite past viewing them as property.” Another Tweet referenced seeing “more Dominican girls walking over the 145th st bridge right now than there are girls in the Dominican Republic.”
Rice’s campaign responded at the time: “These were stupid, insensitive attempts at sarcasm and parody by a young staff member mocking…anti-women attitudes.” They added: “The campaign was unaware of these tweets, they have been removed from the staff member's personal account, and he has been disciplined.”
Rice, the former Nassau district attorney, defeated Republican Bruce Blakeman last November in the race to succeed Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola).
Blakeman had called on Rice to fire Tierney after his Tweets came to light. Tierney was paid roughly $20,000 by the campaign between March and November of last year, federal records show.
Rice’s congressional spokesman Coleman Lamb defended the hire, first reported by the New York Post, in a statement Thursday.
“His tweets, as you’ve already reported, were stupid attempts at sarcasm,” Lamb said. “He was disciplined and he knows that there’s no place for such insensitive parody. He’s serving the district with distinction and will continue to do so.”