Town of Hempstead animal shelter trainer apologizes for Facebook post some deemed threatening

A spokesperson for the town said the employee was suspended for two weeks without pay.

Joe Arena

Apr 28, 2023, 2:55 AM

Updated 386 days ago

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Some Town of Hempstead residents are worried about a Facebook post made by a part-time trainer at the town's animal shelter.
The town employee, Tuncay Adem, responded to criticism on the social media website, writing, "God help you - not if, but when. I know who you are. You are all going on blast publicly and then I will pay you a visit. I know where you all reside. I am coming so try and hide because all you have is your computer."
Animals advocates like Virginia Heffron say that behavior makes them concerned for the animals that Adem is supposed to be caring for.
"It is unacceptable to me, and I wouldn't want somebody representing myself and my business, who is capable of those words," Heffron says. "Because you know what? In this world, we have to take these threats seriously."
News 12 contacted the Town of Hempstead about the situation.
Hempstead Town spokesman Greg Blower told News 12 in a statement, "Recently, a part-time certified trainer engaged in an online discussion, off-hours on their personal social media account. In an extraordinarily active discussion with an individual who has been highly critical of the trainer, words were exchanged that were immediately regretted. Upon receiving information about the discussion, the individual was suspended. The town conducted an investigation, which resulted in a two-week suspension without pay. Thereafter, the employee was allowed to work on probationary basis.
A few months ago, Adem was featured on News 12 about his work to help a severely undernourished dog gain its health back. He says accusations about his character led to his response on Facebook.
"Unfortunately, it's a terrible course of events and there was no malicious intent behind it," Adem says. "I'm apologetic for, you know, everything, the way it went, I removed it."
Adem also told News 12 he recently became recertified for the position he has at the animal shelter.


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