A North Jersey man has been fired by New Jersey Transit after burning pages of the Koran last weekend. Derek Fenton burned the holy book near the site of a planned mosque in New York City near Ground Zero.

KYW’s Kim Glovas reports that Derek Fenton is a train conductor for NJT and he found himself without a job after the agency discovered that he had burned pages of the Koran. In a statement, the transportation agency said that Fenton’s actions violated his trust as a state employee. 

State senator Ray Lesniak says wait a minute:

“What he did was self-centered, he didn’t care about anyone but himself, and he put lives in jeopardy, but had nothing to do with his responsibility on the job, and most importantly, it’s protected by the First Amendment.”

Fenton was let go on Monday.

Governor Chris Christie agreed with the transit agency’s decision. But others including the ACLU are questioning whether the firing was legal. The ACLU says a person can’t be fired for off-the-job political expression when that person is employed in a non-policy related role.

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