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FDNY turns up heat on firefighters who cheered Trump, booed Letitia James with scolding internal letter

Letitia James FDNY booing
Letitia James FDNY booing

FDNY brass is turning up the heat on pro-Trump firefighters who showered state Attorney General Letitia James with boos at a raucous promotion ceremony, a memo obtained by The Post reveals.

The memo, handed out at Big Apple firehouses Sunday, warns firefighters that department investigators are reviewing video footage of the event in Brooklyn last week to ID those behind the “grossly inappropriate” conduct — and cautioned them to keep their politics at home.

“When you’re not on duty, feel however you want about politicians,” the document said. “Vote. Protest. That’s your right. But don’t do it on the job’s time, on other members’ time, or on their families’ time. Do it on your own time.”

The boo birds were out. Pro-Trump firefighters showed state AG Letitia James with boos at a promotion ceremony. BRIGITTE STELZER
The boo birds were out. Pro-Trump firefighters showed state AG Letitia James with boos at a promotion ceremony. BRIGITTE STELZER
Letitia James was showered with boos by pro-Trump firefighters at an FDNY promotion ceremony in Brooklyn last week. BRIGITTE STELZER
Letitia James was showered with boos by pro-Trump firefighters at an FDNY promotion ceremony in Brooklyn last week. BRIGITTE STELZER

The memo also reinforced that the department’s Bureau of Investigations and Trials was going after the offenders — echoing an email by Chief of Department John Hodges on Saturday.

Firefighters “should understand that BITS is gathering video and identifying members that brought discredit … to the department,” the Sunday memo said. “We want the members to come forward. They will come to HQ to be educated [on] why their behavior is unacceptable.”

The memo also said the department’s reputation with the ceremony’s host has also been damaged, and added that “we may lose that venue now.”

The controversy stems from a department ceremony Thursday at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, where the crowd — including the families of captains, battalion chiefs and civilians up for promotion — erupted in loud jeers as James walked to the podium.

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

“Thank you for getting it out of your system.”

As James continued her speech, the booing swiftly turned to chants in support of former President Donald Trump.

“Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!” the crowd bellowed.

The AG famously won a $454 million civil fraud judgment against Trump last month, convincing a judge that the former president inflated the value of his New York State holdings to dupe banks and investors.

Trump is appealing the decision.

But the display at the ceremony ticked off Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, who launched an investigation to track down the offending firefighters.

FDNY brass said the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn may ban the department after a raucous promotion ceremony. BRIGITTE STELZER
FDNY brass said the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn may ban the department after a raucous promotion ceremony. BRIGITTE STELZER

Meanwhile, Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, called the outburst at the ceremony “disappointing” — but said the union will always stand behind its members.

“We’re all kind of disappointed with what happened. It wasn’t a political event,” Ansbro told The Post Sunday. “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.

“Some members took the opportunity to express their beliefs. It wasn’t the time or place to do that.”

But, Ansbro added, “We will strongly defend any of our members who face discipline.”

New York State Attorney General Letitia James tries to quiet the boos at an FDNY promotion ceremony in Brooklyn. NY Post
New York State Attorney General Letitia James tries to quiet the boos at an FDNY promotion ceremony in Brooklyn. NY Post

In another message, 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,” the message said.

“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.”

FDNY spokesman Jim Long said Saturday that the department’s investigation into the raucous ceremony wasn’t about politics, but rather about “professionalism at an official event.

“Nobody is hunting anyone down,” Long said.

However, at least one city politician thinks FDNY brass is out of line.

“Everyone should be entitled to their First Amendment rights, city worker or not,” city Councilwoman Joann Ariola, who chairs the Committee on Fire and Emergency Management, said Sunday.

“I applaud the quick action of the UFOA on this matter,” Ariola said. “They did exactly what a union should do — they put the word out, and they are providing representation to anyone who needs it.

“Kudos to them for stepping up to the plate and defending their members.”