Sanitation employee fired for painting swastikas on septic tank in Collier County

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: Shared with WINK News.

Racially-charged vandalism in Collier County has cost a man his job after an inspector found swastikas on a brand-new septic tank.

The inspector confirms swastikas were painted on a septic tank at a Monty Sanitation project in Collier County recently.

Monty Sanitation in North Naples says it fired the employee who drew the swastikas immediately. The company offered its apologies to anyone it offended and says it does not tolerate that type of behavior.

The inspector says he’s seen three swastikas while working on the job, two of them on Monty Sanitation projects.

A synagogue in Collier County that works with the company hopes a lesson is learned.

“This symbol of hate,” said Rabbi Adam Miller of Temple Shalom of Naples. “It’s not a minor act. The swastika is a symbol of intense hate that connects with the Holocaust and the extermination of 6 million Jews and 5 million other individuals at the hands of the Nazis.”

Miller says what that employee did was not OK.

“We will not tolerate those who want to scare people or make them feel unwelcome in Collier County,” Miller said.

Rabbi Miller is thankful the inspector who saw it said something.

“If I just covered it up and didn’t say anything, they would continue to move down that path of doing that to their customers,” the inspector said.

The inspector, who wished not to be identified, sent us pictures he took in July of a swastika symbol on a septic tank.

The inspector took pictures last Friday at a home on Hawthorn Woods Way in Golden Gate Estates.

“I felt like I did have to do something about it,” the inspector said. “I couldn’t just sit back and let a professional company have that kind of negative propaganda with them.”

Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowitz of Chabad Lubavitch of Southwest Florida says that even though it is discriminating, they want to help this person who felt the need to draw these symbols.

“When I see something like this, or I hear something like that, I realize, ‘Guess what? We have more people we need to help see the light and find real meaning and happiness,’” Minkowitz said.

Temple Shalom of Naples says it will work with the Monty Sanitation as long as things are handled correctly.

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