DEARBORN, Mich. (FOX 2) - WEB UPDATE (May 8, 2019):
Bill Larion's offensive post was made about a Muslim model who posed for Sports Illustrated. He commented on another news organization's Facebook page under the photo saying, "Cute picture should be on the cover of Camels are us."
Larion was a part-time employee with Dearborn's engineering department. In a statement Wednesday the city said, "Bill Larion no longer works for the City of Dearborn. Per protocol, the City will not be commenting further on internal personnel matters."
The city of Dearborn has the largest Muslim population in the United States and a city employee's racist comment on social media has him under fire.
The man is accused of making a disparaging post about a Muslim model on another news organization's Facebook page under the photo, saying "Cute picture should be on the cover of Camels are us."
It was attributed to Bill Larion, a part-time employee with the city's engineering department, and was directed towards Halima Aden, a Muslim, Kenyan-American woman who became the first model to wear a hijab and burkini for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
"It was shocking to say the least," said Michael Sareini, Dearborn City Council.
The fall out was immediate.
"I don't think we should allow racism like this among us. If we let this guy go, then others will follow," said Osama Siblani.
Siblani, the editor of the Arab-American News, is calling for Larion to be fired, saying the reference to camels is an old slur used to demean Muslims, those of Arab descent and even those who appear to be.
"The city has to send a message that no one works for the city gets our tax dollars and insults us," Siblani said.
"We really want to make sure that all of our employees are held to the highest standard with regard to ethics and their behavior, when they're interacting with residents and colleagues in person, online. All of those things matter," said Erin Byrnes, Dearborn City Council.
In a statement, Dearborn Mayor John O'Reilly condemned the comment calling it "an offensive slur."
He is also directing several city departments to "immediately investigate the source of the remark."
FOX 2 went to Larion's house, his daughter told us he was taking a bath. FOX 2 knocked on the door again about an hour later, no one answered.
"Derogatory comments are not good toward anyone," said Bruce Efaw, a neighbor. "Keep your comments to yourself if you don't have something nice to say to somebody."
Some of Larion's neighbors are defending him.
"There are different races in the neighborhood and he's never said anything bad towards anybody," Efaw said.
FOX 2: "If he is not fired, if he keeps his job, then what?"
"The mayor will hear from us," said Siblani. "The city will hear from us."
Dearborn police is helping out with this investigation. The Council of American Islamic Relations is also calling for Lorian to be reprimanded.