Several Nassau Country, NY elected officials, various organisations and the local Jewish community have made calls for the immediate removal of an Oceanside Sanitation Commissioner for alleged antisemitic social media posts.
On the morning of 10th November, elected officials and activists convened in front of the sanitation office with a bipartisan group of Nassau County legislators and organisations to publicly condemn the actions of Ryan Hemsley.
The Sanitation Commissioner is believed to have shared more than thirty offensive posts, dating back several years, that featured swastikas and Nazi imagery as well as the denigration of Holocaust victims.
The series of Facebook posts were anonymously sent in a letter and mass e-mail to the other four board members and the media in October. One politician said: “It’s just hate, hate, hate”. However Mr Hemsley has maintained that many of the posts were not created by him and none of the memes were directed towards any specific group.
Mr Hensley has refused to resign after he was elected commissioner for a two-year term that commenced in September this year. In a recent post on his Facebook page, however, he stated that he would donate his pay checks to the Long Island Coalition Against Bullying, and promised to donate his $7,500 annual salary for the remainder of his two-year term.
The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office is currently reviewing Mr Hensley’s position. The Sanitation Board’s attorney has requested that all offensive posts be identified, having been deleted from the social media platform, and has asked the Attorney General for potential legal routes. Elected officials may be removed by the District Attorney under state law or if a local resident petitions a court with material that shows misconduct while in office.