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East Syracuse Fire Chief demoted after racist Facebook post

CNYCentral file photo of James Brewster

The Mayor of East Syracuse says the Village’s embattled fire chief is no longer leading the department.

Jim Brewster was removed from the chief’s job by the village board after he used a racial slur on Facebook back in June.

Mayor Robert Tackman says Brewster will remain a village firefighter. He had been suspended without pay during an investigation into the online post.

A screen capture of the comment, which was later deleted indicates the comment was about Congresswoman Maxine Walters. “Maxine gives the word (expletive) a bad name,” it said. The expletive was the n-word.

Mayor Tackman says Brewster has apologized to the village board. “He has expressed remorse for posting that, and he has said he’s sorry to me."

Brewster underwent a Civil Service hearing prior to the decision by the board to demote him from the chief’s position.

Meetings have been set to determine who will become the department's permanent chief and assistant chiefs, though there is no timetable set for those decisions, Tackman said.

A new chief has not been named.

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