Dearborn employee terminated for racist Facebook post on Muslim model

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Screenshot: fox2detroit.com

A Dearborn employee under fire for a racist comment he wrote on Facebook has been terminated.

Bill Larion’s post was made about a Muslim model who posed for Sports Illustrated. He commented on another news organization’s Facebook page under the photo saying, “Cute picture should be on the cover of Camels are us.”

Larion was a part-time employee with the city of Dearborn’s engineering department. In a statement Wednesday the city said, “Bill Larion no longer works for the City of Dearborn. Per protocol, the City will not be commenting further on internal personnel matters.”

Larion’s attorney Ed Zelenak confirmed that his client was terminated Wednesday.

Zelenak released a statement from Larion, who apologized for his comment and for those he hurt by making it.

Larion’s statement reads:

“I, Bill Larion, have no one to blame but myself for my bad behavior. I want to apologize for my horrible comment the other day on Channel 7’s (Facebook page). I want to do better for my community and family. I hurt not only my family but my coworkers, my community and people I don’t even know. 

“I don’t want to be seen as someone who makes derogatory and disrespectful comments. I instantly regretted and deleted the comment and my Facebook comment. I didn’t know what to do because I was scared. It was immature and irresponsible, I want to learn from my mistakes. 

“I’m sorry to put my family through this burden. I am so sorry to anyone I have hurt. I appreciate the kindness from those it affected. I’m embarrassed and remorseful that I hid this from my wife and daughter – the two people who are there for me the most.

“Social media is a dangerous tool and I let it get the best of me. Once again, I am sorry.”  

Larion’s comment was directed towards Halima Aden, a Muslim, Kenyan-American woman who became the first model to wear a hijab and burkini for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

His social media post drew criticism immediately from city leaders including Mayor John B. O’ Reilly, who stressed the city’s cultural diversity, adding that the incident would be investigated.

“I have zero tolerance for the type of language used in the Facebook comment,” O’Reilly said in a statement earlier this week. “The comment violates the City of Dearborn’s values and practices, as well as our expectations for employees. It violates the very heart of our mission statement, which is that we must earn the public’s trust in everything we do.”

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This article originally appeared on fox2detroit.com