Judge Reinstates Firefighter Citing Racial Bias in His Expulsion

Uniondale, NY – November 19, 2021  Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Diccia T. Pineda-Kirwan ordered the reinstatement of Jensen Thomas as a firefighter for the Garden City Park Water/Fire District.  The Court found that dismissing Thomas from the Department was so disproportionate to his offenses as to “be shocking to one’s sense of fairness.”

The Court also noted that Thomas was one of only two firefighters of color, and was subjected to harassment including being called “Obama” by an ex-chief of the department.  The Court also found that other firefighters had done similar actions as Thomas, including causing minor damage to District property, but were not disciplined.

E. Christopher Murray of Ruskin Moscou Faltischek represented Thomas and stated that while “Long Island volunteer fire departments provide a valuable service, they are still required to treat their members fairly”.  Thomas stated he was “very happy to be reinstated and looks forward to continuing to serve his community”.

A copy of the decision in Jensen Thomas v. Garden City Park Water/Fire District, et al. is attached.  For more information please contact E. Christopher Murray, (516) 663-6515, emurray@rmfpc.com.

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