FDNY Commish Laura Kavanagh slammed after she apologizes for pro-Trump firefighters jeering NY AG Letitia James

Big Apple firefighters are now dousing Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh with boos for apologizing over New York State Attorney Letitia James getting jeered by pro-Trump attendees at an FDNY promotion ceremony.

Kavanagh returned to the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn on Sunday to say she was sorry that James was met with boos and “Trump” chants during the promotion event last week.

“We have decades of training and discipline that none of us want to see tarnished by the unprofessional behavior of a few,” Kavanagh said, according to NY1.

But members of New York’s Bravest told The Post she can keep the apology.

“I wasn’t there but if I was I would have yelled out Trump’s name because that is my constitutional freedom of speech,” one disgruntled Brooklyn firefighter said Monday. “I don’t need the commissioner to apologize for my American rights.”

New York City Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh apologized to a Brooklyn church for a raucous promotion ceremony on Thursday — and it didn’t sit well with the FDNY rank and file. Fire Department, City of New York via Flickr
New York City Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh apologized to a Brooklyn church for a raucous promotion ceremony on Thursday — and it didn’t sit well with the FDNY rank and file. Fire Department, City of New York via Flickr

A Queens firefighter agreed.

“I would say this is a waste of [Kavanagh’s] time but I don’t know what else she does,” he said, adding, “The commissioner made this political by inviting a politician to speak.”

James, who won a $454 million civil judgment against Trump last month, came under fire by some in the crowd at the FDNY ceremony on Thursday — prompting a subsequent department probe to find the culprits.

According to an internal memo obtained by The Post this week, department brass feared that the stunt had also cost the department its relationship with the church, a venue they have used in the past.

The FDNY Bureau of Investigation and Trials has since been reviewing video footage from the ceremony to identify the culprits but has not said what potential punishment the firefighters could face.

Pro-Trump firefighters at an FDNY promotion ceremony last week shouted down state Attorney General Letitia James. BRIGITTE STELZER
Pro-Trump firefighters at an FDNY promotion ceremony last week shouted down state Attorney General Letitia James. BRIGITTE STELZER
City Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh returned to a Brooklyn church Sunday to apologize for a rowdy ceremony. BRIGITTE STELZER
City Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh returned to a Brooklyn church Sunday to apologize for a rowdy ceremony. BRIGITTE STELZER

Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, called the outburst at the ceremony “disappointing” on Sunday, but said the union has the members’ backs.

“We’re all kind of disappointed with what happened. It wasn’t a political event,” he said. “Letitia James has always been a friend of the UFA. This was disappointing. It was in a church. It’s not the place for it.”

The heckling started almost as soon as James got to the podium during the ceremony, in which 34 civilian FDNY employees and 29 members of the Bureau of Fire Prevention were promoted.

“Oh, come on,” she told the crowd. “We’re in a house of God. First, simmer down.”

But the boos turned into chants for Trump as James continued to speak.

James’ attendance broke from tradition, as the elected official historically invited to speak at the promotion ceremony has been the mayor.

“On behalf of the New York City Fire Department, I’m sorry,” Kavanagh said at the church Sunday. “Not only is the fire department the greatest department in the world, it’s also the most professional fire department in the world and we let down that reputation on Thursday.”

The Uniformed Fire Officers Association, which represents lieutenants, firefighters and other ranking members, urged caution for any who may get grilled over the incident.

“We advise all members to follow department rules and regulations during these visits and any subsequent inquiry that results from them,” UFOA said in a message to its members.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, left, won a $454 million judgment against Donald Trump last month. BRIGITTE STELZER
New York Attorney General Letitia James, left, won a $454 million judgment against Donald Trump last month. BRIGITTE STELZER

“However, should any member feel they are subject to an investigation due to the nature of specific questions, they should immediately notify the UFOA and request representation. Any additional inquiries should not continue until a UFOA representative is present.”

However, another Brooklyn firefighter scoffed at the department’s investigation into the hecklers, citing an earlier FDNY probe into a leaked meeting with chiefs that irked many in the ranks — and wasn’t solved.

“It is ironic how BITS (Bureau of Investigation and Trials) will do an investigation where hundreds of people attended and find out who yelled, but they couldn’t find out who leaked a tape of a meeting where only 10 or so people attended,” he said.

“That smells of politics.”

Additional reporting by Craig McCarthy