Lakewood, NJ – A central New Jersey realtor is no longer affiliated with a major broker after a disparaging comment that he made on Facebook was brought to the attention of local media by the Lakewood Vaad.
Vaad spokesman Rabbi Moshe Zev Weisberg said that the group has been monitoring certain Facebook pages that often feature negative remarks about the Jewish community.
It was last week that a post written on the Jackson NJ Strong Facebook page by Tony Sloane, an employee of Weichert Realty, caught the attention of the Vaad.
The post in question questioned the constitutionality of the soon to be created Town of Palm Tree in upstate New York, prompting Sloane to post “Not so bad maybe they’ll all move back to New York.”
“There is a lot of stuff there every day that really crosses the line but in this particular case, we felt that since he was affiliated with a well known real estate company used extensively by members of the Orthodox community, it seemed appropriate to out him,” Rabbi Weisberg told VIN News.
The Vaad sent a release about the comment to several media outlets, including two local ones: The Lakewood Scoop and the Asbury Park Press.
While the Asbury Park Press did not cover the story, The Lakewood Scoop ran with it, calling on Weichert to maintain its professional reputation by firing Sloane and distancing itself from his comments.
Weichert responded to the article within a day, said Rabbi Weisberg.
“I am told that they called him in and he didn’t change his tune so they asked him to leave the company,” said Rabbi Weisberg. “I don’t know if he resigned or fired him but I do know that they did the right thing and we were very pleased that they reacted appropriately.”
Sloane addressed the issue in several Facebook posts, saying that he resigned his position at Weichert because having his comment publicly posted by The Lakewood Scoop could be detrimental to the company and could hurt his co-workers, but that he would not be deterred from speaking his mind.
“So now that the lakewood scoop can’t take my job or my money there’s nothing left they can do I can speak freely and I’m going to keep on talking Lakewood Scoop,” wrote Sloane.
Defending his actions, Sloane noted that his comments were made on his personal account in forums that were unrelated to his employment and therefore had nothing to do with his job at Weichert. He also took the Lakewood community to task for numerous other issues that he found problematic.
“My statement had nothing to do with religion more the fact that there’s many unfair things going on in Lakewood right now; misuse of housing associations to create same-gender swimming situations or people are fined and privatize busing that is costing the city Millions etc. My cousin is actually Jewish I could care less what religion people are.”