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Officers protest Facebook postings by Nassau jail official

Members of the Nassau County Sheriff Department protest

Members of the Nassau County Sheriff Department protest outside the East Meadow Correctional Facility on Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 in East Meadow. Credit: Howard Schnapp

More than 100 Nassau correction officers protested outside the county jail in East Meadow Monday, calling for the removal of the jail's head affirmative action officer over Facebook postings in which he referred to police as "crackers" who "got bullied in high school."

The Nassau County Correction Officers Benevolent Association has filed a federal discrimination complaint against Andreaus Guilty, a rap artist who serves as the jail's $80,000-a-year affirmative action specialist, and has called for his ouster.

"Guilty must go!" chanted the officers, who wore black-and-white shirts with Guilty's remarks printed on the back.

At a news conference, union president John Jaronczyk said Guilty "created a hostile work environment with his posts." Nassau County Attorney Carnell Foskey said in a statement Monday: "Andreas Guilty is a civil service employee and protected by a collective bargaining agreement. The county executive cannot fire nor remove him. The law protects both his job and freedom of private speech."

Jerry Laricchiuta, president of the Civil Service Employees Association, said "if these allegations are true and in fact these statements were made by Mr. Guilty, the CSEA does not condone them or agree with them in any way." He said the union had not been notified if "charges were coming forth so CSEA has no official capacity here."

Laricchiuta said, "neither I or any CSEA Officer . . . shares the feeling depicted" in Guilty's posts.

Among the comments by Guilty cited in the union's complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was his labeling of cops as "crackers," prompting one demonstrator to hold up a box of Ritz Crackers. On Dec. 3, Guilty wrote that "police are protected by a system of white supremacy."

Guilty told a reporter last week, "I don't think I have any racist posts on my Facebook page," adding, "my personal life doesn't affect my job life."

While Guilty's Facebook profile remained up Monday, it appeared most of the posts at issue were removed from public view.

Guilty formed Democrats for Mangano before the county executive won office in 2009, and Mangano appointed Guilty to his jail post in January 2010.

At a meeting of the Nassau County Legislature Monday, Jaronczyk urged lawmakers to press for Guilty's removal.

Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) said the legislature was "anticipating putting together social media legislation" in response to the complaints over Guilty's comments.

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