The president and CEO of a not-for-profit independent living and assisted living community has been fired from his job and removed from industry boards following a protest-related post from a private social media account that sparked outrage.
The Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville, which founded and operate Dominican Village, Amityville, NY, took swift action to remove Paul Wasser from his position at the community due to a comment to “run the dirt down” on a photo of protesters on Long Island that was posted to the “Nassau Suffolk protests alerts” public group on Facebook. The comment appeared to have been made from a personal Facebook account.
Someone who saw the post shared a screenshot of it to the Facebook group Black Long Island, prompting members to email and call Wasser’s employer and the professional boards on which he held positions, to voice their concerns, according to a published report.
Wasser had been an at-large representative on the National Center for Assisted Living’s Board of Governors since October but has been removed from that position as well, NCAL told McKnight’s Senior Living. He also previously served as an NCAL State Leader from January 2017 to October 2019.
According to a public LinkedIn profile, Wasser has been board chairman and a member of the New York State Center for Assisted Living, the NCAL state affiliate, since April 2017. On Friday, however, the state association’s website listed the chairman’s position as “vacant.”
A message from the Sisters of St. Dominic posted on the Dominican Village website said the board of directors immediately placed Wasser on administrative leave on Wednesday when they learned about the post from his private account, officially terminating his employment on Thursday.
“The Board strongly believes that if we are to have any hope of bringing about change in this world, we must stand ready to take action,” the message read. “Mr. Wasser’s words raised fear, concern and outrage within the community we serve. They were hurtful, derogatory and had the potential of inciting violence towards others.”
Wasser declined to comment to media.
AHCA / NCAL leaders are among senior living and care industry representatives who recently have spoken out against racial inequity in response to rising protests across the country following the May 25 death of George Floyd and data on COVID-19 cases in long-term care disproportionately affecting minority residents.