NEWARK (WABC) -- A high ranking Newark police lieutenant was terminated for his disparaging remarks on a private Facebook page.
In the post Lieutenant Anthony Caruso had compared a 'high ranking' city official, who happens to be African American, to a gorilla.
The postings were brought to the attention of Police Director Eugene Venable who conducted a thorough investigation.
The findings showed that Lieutenant Caruso willfully engaged in the inappropriate dialog on Facebook, and his comments were recklessly transmitted to the public.
The Newark Police Department's General Order on Social Media prohibits employees from making any comment or opinion that defames the department or city officials.
However, the social media policy does not authorize the department to arbitrarily monitor any employee's private social media account.
Lieutenant Caruso's inappropriate comments were discovered by a private citizen who took it upon himself to reveal the incident to police brass.
Director Venable said that the men and women of the department care about the community and work tirelessly every day to protect and serve its residents.
He went on to say, "We will not condone the type of behavior that Lieutenant Caruso displayed while referring to a member of our city administration as a gorilla".
The Director stated that terminating Caruso sends a strong message that derogatory statements with racial connotations will not be tolerated.
He continued that any police officer violating the department's social media policy in this manner will be subject to the same penalty.
Venable concluded, "We will not allow our employees to disparage our city government or our citizens under the 'so called' anonymity of social media."