City of Dearborn fires worker who compared Muslim model to a camel


  • Shutterstock

The city of Dearborn wasted no time firing an employee for posting a demeaning remark on Facebook about a Muslim swimsuit model who appeared in Sports Illustrated.

“Bill Larion no longer works for the City of Dearborn,” the city said in a statement Wednesday.

Larion, a surveyor in the city’s Engineering Department, initially told the city and police that someone had hacked his account and compared the Muslim model to a camel, an offensive term used to demean Muslims and Arabs. Then on Tuesday, the 58-year-old came clean and admitted he wrote the post.

“He said he panicked and thought he would cover himself up,” Larion’s attorney Ed Zelenak told The Detroit News. “He knew already that he was wrong.”

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations was among those calling for Larion to be terminated. Dearborn has a large Arab and Muslim population.

In a news release, Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly didn’t mince words.

“I have zero tolerance for the type of language used in the Facebook comment,” O’Reilly said. “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.”

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.