Post comparing immigrants to rabid raccoons doesn't cost ex-official his pu…

Former Mendham Township Deputy Mayor Rick Blood’s government job in Roxbury appears safe, despite the uproar over his weekend Facebook post comparing undocumented immigrants to raccoons that led to his resignation.

Blood has been Roxbury’s director of public works for nearly a decade and showed up for work Tuesday, the morning after being rebuked by about 30 critics during a three-hour Mendham Township Committee meeting that ended with his apology and departure after just two months in office.

Ex-Mendham Township Deputy Mayor Rick Blood after a Township Committee meeting on Monday ended with his resignation 

The Morristown-based immigrant advocacy group that mobilized opposition in Mendham Township is not calling for his firing in Roxbury, but is asking officials to convene a panel or take other steps to address concerns stemming from a controversy that has drawn national attention.

“This is a human being. We’re not trying to get him fired,” Karol Ruiz, co-president of Wind of the Spirit, said Wednesday of Blood.

“We’re about human rights, and he has his rights, but we are calling for reparations, a real dialogue,” Ruiz said.

Photos: Mendham Township’s deputy mayor resigns at meeting

Roxbury Township Manager John Shepherd said he was notified of Blood’s Facebook post — in which he copied an eight-paragraph screed comparing undocumented immigrants to raccoons in a basement and lauding President Trump as the exterminator — within hours on Sunday.

“From our perspective, at this point, it’s not something that’s going to impact Rick in his capacity here,” Shepherd said Tuesday.

Shepherd said Blood has a First Amendment right to his views, but acknowledged that the post prompted an internal review. He said he spoke with Blood, consulted with the township’s municipal attorney and checked the employee handbook.

“We took a look at some of our policies and what was said. This was something that was done off-duty, not related to Roxbury Township,” Shepherd said.

“His opinion, or anybody’s opinions, of federal issues, immigration or whatever, doesn’t impact what they do on a day-to-day basis here,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd described Blood as a highly-regarded employee in Roxbury who works well with others.

“He’s supportive of people. He’s never even made a comment to me — on the side, anything — about ethnic groups or immigrants,” Shepherd said.

Two members of Wind of the Spirit, Renata Mauriz and Theresa Markila, spoke Tuesday night at the Roxbury Township Council meeting and passed along the organization’s request for further discussions.

Ruiz, who did not attend the Roxbury meeting, said township officials did not commit to the organization’s request for a panel on immigration or other steps such as additional employee training.

Roxbury Mayor Mark Crowley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Blood is a 16-year Roxbury Township employee who moved to Mendham Township, where he…

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