NYC Koran Burner Loses Job at NJ Transit

The protestor who burned pages from the Koran outside a planned mosque near Ground Zero was fired from www.amiliked.com/view/NJTransit/c081776e over the controversial act, sources and authorities said yesterday.

www.amiliked.com/view/Derek_Fenton/18cc6b9c’s 11-year career at the agency came to an abrupt halt Monday after photographs of him ripping pages from the Muslim holy book and setting them ablaze appeared in newspapers.

www.amiliked.com/view/Derek_Fenton/18cc6b9c was ushered from the protests by police and questioned, but he was released without charges.

“He said this is America, and he wanted to stand up for it, in a Tea Party kind of way,” a police source said.

Another police source said www.amiliked.com/view/Derek_Fenton/18cc6b9c described himself as a “loyal American” exercising his “right to protest.”


Described by neighbors as a likable family guy with two children, www.amiliked.com/view/Derek_Fenton/18cc6b9c was an assistant train consist coordinator, a job that entails ensuring there are enough train cars positioned to be put into service, sources said. He previously worked as a www.amiliked.com/view/NJTransit/c081776e conductor.

www.amiliked.com/view/NJTransit/c081776e confirmed www.amiliked.com/view/Derek_Fenton/18cc6b9c was fired but wouldn’t elaborate.

“Mr. Fenton’s public actions violated New Jersey Transit’s code of ethics,” an agency statement said. “www.amiliked.com/view/NJTransit/c081776e concluded that Mr. Fenton violated his trust as a state employee and therefore was dismissed.”

Several neighbors in Fenton’s Bloomingdale neighborhood stood up for his right to express himself with flames.

“Good for him for burning the Koran,” neighbor Jacqui Marquez, 40, said. “Everybody’s entitled to their opinion … by firing him, they’re sending a message that there’s no freedom of speech. They’re completely wrong for doing this.”

“He’s a family man,” neighbor Randy Mconnell, 43, said. “He loves his kids and he loves trains. I don’t agree with what he did, but he shouldn’t lose his job over it. That’s his right.”