The Lakeland Fire District in Ronkonkoma is investigating after an inflammatory Facebook comment was made Tuesday about an East Meadow mosque by someone whose social media profile identified him as a fire district commissioner, the fire district’s attorney said.
The comment, made by “Jerry Omara,” who had identified himself on Facebook as a Lakeland district fire commissioner, was made in response to a Newsday Facebook posting about the Long Island Muslim Society seeking to add a second floor to its mosque in East Meadow.
An attorney for the district, Robert Flynn of Huntington, confirmed someone by that name is a commissioner, but did not say if district officials had confirmed that the commissioner had in fact made the posting.
The comment read: “Let them put a fifth floor on the building and then take them up to the Roof and throw them off it.”
No one answered the door at the commissioner’s Ronkonkoma home Tuesday, and he did not respond to telephone and email messages. Other district officials and the fire department’s chief could not be reached on Tuesday, and a person who answered the doorbell at the fire house said through the intercom that there would be “no comment at this time.”
Flynn said “this matter is now being investigated” and that “we will be taking all appropriate steps necessary.”
The fire district “condemns, in the strongest manner possible, any and all hate speech or speech that is discriminatory in nature against the race, religion, creed or ethnic background of any individual or group of individuals,” Flynn said.
He added that the district “will not tolerate” such speech and is “committed to serving and protecting” all of its residents.
While the Facebook page listed the name as Jerry Omara, voter registry and Newsday coverage of previous fire district elections show the spelling of the commissioner’s name as Gerald V. O’Mara.
An attorney for the Long Island Muslim Society declined to comment Tuesday.