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

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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.”

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