Hialeah Firefighter Under Investigation for Making Insensitive Jokes About Hialeah on Facebook

Categories: News
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Lets be honest, poking fun at Hialeah is a great tradition among the rest of Miami-Dade citizens. It's basically akin to New Yorkers who wisecrack about Staten Island. That doesn't mean, however, that the jokes can't go too far. And Eric Johnson, a non-Hispanic, white Hialeah firefighter, may have gone too far in making jabs at his own city with some ethnic overtones on his Facebook page.

Johnson isn't just any firefighter. He's the vice president of the Hialeah Association of Firefighters. He doesn't see what the big deal is, and is not apologizing for it even as he is now under investigation by his department. In fact, Johnson, an outspoken critic of the city's government, seem to infer that the investigation is nothing more than petty political payback.

WSVN reports that postings Johnson made on Facebook stirred controversy. In one posting pointed out, Johnson posted this picture with the caption, "only in Hialeah. LOL"

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In another posting he offers his handy Spanish-to-English translation trick: "I have a system. Just add an 'o' to any English word and bam! It works. For example, how ya doin 'o' You wanna go to the hospital 'o' I just learned that you can't do that when you say is this your home though. Ha Ha."

Amazingly, Johnson's Facebook wall is still accessible to the public.

Though, the vast majority of Johnson's posts are critical of Hialeah's government.

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Johnson didn't do himself any favors with his public defense.

"Absolutely not," he responded after WSVN asked him if he's a racist. "I'm married to a Cuban. My best friend is an African-American. Anything else?" [Note to WSVN: asking someone flat out if they're a racist is not exactly the best tactic. No one is going to reply, "Yes."]

Johnson says he's also not trafficking in Latino stereotypes.

"These aren't stereotypes, this is reality. If anyone is stereotyped, it's me in Hialeah," he said. "I'm a gringo in the middle of Hialeah!"

Uh, huh... It's hard to make a case that the guy is a flat out racist, but it's also apparent that the guy isn't particularly sensitive to the issue.

Though, Johnson is also under fire for posting pictures of young children holding alcohol.

Johnson seems to thinks that the investigation is political payback for his criticism on Hialeah government. He posted this video from September in which he takes on the city's commission at a meeting.

"YOU Want the truth of WHY I AM A TARGET!!!!!! JUST WATCH THIS VIDEO.. It is because i have the guts to stand up for truth and justice...," he wrote.



And if there is one great stereotype about Hialeah's politicians, it is that they do love petty political payback.

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24 comments
Nysa25
Nysa25

I am cuban and I see nothing wrong with his comment!It is funny, and when I went to cuba in 2003 I saw exactly this, and I tell you... Only in Cuba!And u dont see it in Hialeah cuz u would be arrested! Otherwise u would see ONLY in Hialeah! Stop the BS and enjoy life

Guest-o
Guest-o

If you don't like it you can take your ladder-o, axe-o, and hose-o and go home-o.

Taxpayers get screwed
Taxpayers get screwed

In the City of Miami over 20 firemen have pay and benefit packages that exceed $300,000 per year. Most work at desk jobs. One Fire Chief is serving 4 years in prison for masterminding a $11 mortgage fraud ring from her City office using a City fax machine. She gets to keep her $150,00 per year pension. Come to Miami where even felons get rich at the taxpayers expense.

Public is learning
Public is learning

The public is catching on that firemen, in fact most public sector employees, are massively overpaid. How can taxpayers who average $35,000 per year afford to pay firemen $150,000 per year?

Overpaid
Overpaid

Firemen get paid to exercise, lift weights, practice their cooking, ride their Harley-Davidson motorcycles... Nice life. And some get paid over $300,000 per year.

Overpaid slacker
Overpaid slacker

Another overpaid fireman with way too much free time. How can struggling Hialeah taxpayers support a $150,000 per year fireman, who only works 3-4 days a week?

Rigga51
Rigga51

I have honestly had the privilege to meet Mr. Johnson on duty. As my unit pulled over to aid someone in need. He is not a racist nor does he seem like one. He works with an African American on his engine. I am an African American myself, and I really think they should leave this man alone. Stop trying to violate his freedom of speech right.

Overpaid fireman
Overpaid fireman

This is another example of an overpaid fire union member with too much time of his hands. He should move to Miami. Fire union members in Miami make $200,000 to $300,000+ per year and retire with 103% pensions.

Crzzybbygirl1001
Crzzybbygirl1001

U have only spoken the truth... I dont think what they did by putting your children in the middle of this was right... And as far as being a bad father... NOT...... U r an awesome father... Good luck Slick....

Honeywest516
Honeywest516

I have my own story & experiences with the current Hialeah "government."  It has become so corrupt, and City Hall is so self-serving now that it's ridiculous. Gringos are NOT welcome in the City of Progress. And this from a completely unbiased person. It's not worth saying a word, however, because you will end up targeted, as has Mr. Johnson. Who, by the way, is worth more to the City than the Mayor and the entire Council. Never thought I'd be embarrassed - I've been amused, but not embarrassed -  to be a resident of Hialeah. Shaking my head as I write.

Digitalxp
Digitalxp

I applaud you Mr. Johnson for standing up and demanding the truth. It is clear that the attack going on against you for the FB pic stems from this meeting. The members of the hialeah city council look like a bunch of corrupt, arrogant and ignorant people starting with the mayor storming off like a little B^*ch and the rest of them acting so childish when confronted with the truth. Not to mention the VP trying to keep everyone from speaking their minds. Thankfully, I dont live or work in hialeah but I do feel sorry for some of the people who have to work there. It is inevitable that most city councils are corrupt, but this bunch is the worst I have ever seen!!! Good luck to you sir and thank you for standing up for your rights and the truth!

JohnDzoe
JohnDzoe

This is bullshit, Hialeah people make those kinds of jokes all the time, if he was Cuban nobody would be bothering him, it's political, he pissed somebpdy off, and plus he also hgas the first ammendment right to free speech like everybody else

MiamiBrickGal
MiamiBrickGal

Absolutely embarrassing. The Mayor is disgustingly rude. These people do not act like elected public officials. It is people like this mayor and that council president that give Hialeah it's terrible reputation, they have no tact or poise, they seem so uneducated. I just witnessed absolute chusmeria. Wow, Hialeah... I feel *very* sorry for you.

Hottorchid
Hottorchid

Leave this man alone! He's done nothing wrong but call horrible people out on their shit! He's a hero & should be treated as such!

Zap397hfd
Zap397hfd

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WILL BE THE DOWNFALL OF AMERICA.... BUT THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, THIS IS STRICTLY A MEANS TO DISCREDIT AN OUTSTANDING CITIZEN AND PUBLIC SERVANT FOR STANDING UP TO A CORRUPT CITY COUNCIL, AND THIS IS PAYBACK PURE AND SIMPLE. YOU TELL ME HOW IS IT RACIST BY MENTIONING A CITY IN A PICTURE COMMENT? I THINK SOMEONE IS SERIOUSLY REACHING AND MAYBE THEY ARE THE RACIST ONES MAYBE THEY DON'T LIKE WHITE PEOPLE SERVING THEIR CITY. EVER THINK OF THAT?

Lola
Lola

Leave the FUCKING guy alone and FOCUS on real NEWS!!!!! I'm sure he must have written some truth about some lying ass politician & what else to do but use his posts against him. Isn't this a FREE country......POST away!!!!!!!!!

Shitbull
Shitbull

What exactly was racist? 

ERIC JOHNSON
ERIC JOHNSON

Kyle,  Ten years ago I chose to serve the residents of the City of Hialeah.  Hialeah is my home and its residents are my family. In my time serving the residents of the City, I have done so upholding the highest of professional standards, as evidenced by my personnel record.  More importantly, I deliver essential services with an honest, heartfelt concern for those that call.  I don't count how many lives I have touched or saved in my career, it is my duty to do so, and a duty I truly love.  That is who I am.  And those that call, have always been grateful, and for that, I am humbled.   In addition to my duty to provide care, I have also performed my civic duty in our City, specifically holding elected officials to their word.  Because of that, I have now become a political target.  Worse than that, my integrity as a person, and most importantly, as a father, has been called into question by pictures and comments that are, on their face, clearly tongue-in-cheek.  A spectacle has been made of this "investigation", that serves no purpose other than damaging my reputation.  There is no precedent for calling a press conference to announce an "investigation" into a personnel issue dealing with a low level public servant.  None. Speaking your mind has a price.  I understand that now.  And comments made in jest, in writing, can be misconstrued.  The same goes for some pictures.  This is especially true when you point out elements of corruption and incompetence with those in POWER.  That being said, I am confident that this "investigation" will conclude that I have provided services to the residents of Hialeah at the highest level.  Unfortunately, that will come after another unjustified waste of taxpayers money.  Until then, I will do we fire fighters to, help people, as many as we can, as best we can.

Miamipirate
Miamipirate

Since when is it necessary to be sensitive about the truth?

Oh yeah, since this country started falling apart because everyones skin got so thin that they can't do an honest days work and think they are entilted to everything for nothing.

They use crap like this to draw attention and shift blame to gain sympathy.

This guy did absolutely nothing wrong!

And to the persons who are reporting this trash, they should remember their 1st amendment rights better then anyone.

Wake up America!

Sally
Sally

The fire chief, let alone a firefighter, makes no where near that amount in the City of Hialeah.

Crzzybbygirl1001
Crzzybbygirl1001

Firefighters deserve every penny they make... Where the hell do you get your info. And dont hate just because you dont have the skills and dedication they have... They save lives... That is PRICELESS... What do you do????????

illicitgains
illicitgains

Thanks Eric, for caring for the City of Hialeah enough to jeopardize yourself & family when REAL issues are right in front of EVERYONE'S NOSE!  I often speak ill of Cops & FFs in the news, but still believe some are REAL CITIZENS and not the VAIN, Spoiled, Vengeful brats we hear of in the news. Exposing Voter Fraud is a sure way to lose your job and make you a target for ridiculous slander. But to speak out in forums must take even greater courage & conviction. I hear Hollywood is Hiring! ON THE BEACH! I for one would gladly welcome you.

Floyd Dehanne
Floyd Dehanne

Its very sad that you were caught in this unfortunate climate which seeks out to crucify its public servants in the most humiliating ways possible to fuel private agendas fueled by the upper echelons to lull citizens into BELEIVING that their government actually cares about their services. I'm sure that not everyone in Hialeah is this deluded, after all it's reputation was well established before your Facebook page and the continued corruption will not end with your "discipline" (which hopefully doesn't happen). I am not sure if this will have any personal meaning for you at all but I applaud you for taking the high road in this situation and not debasing yourself to the same level as the officials have in this case and commend you for at least having the common sense not to name your comments as your coworkers and yourself to make your point (unlike others in other departments). Though I'm not a Hialeah resident nor firefighter affiliated in any way I thank you in advance Eric for your dedication to your vocation in the event that I ever find myself in need of your help. Chin up, brother and stay blessed

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