UCI employee on leave over racist pictures

A parking enforcement officer at UC Irvine was placed on leave this week following allegations that he posted racially insensitive pictures online, the university confirmed.

He also worked at Golden West College in Huntington Beach as a campus safety officer but was fired from that job after the allegations surfaced this week.

UCI is investigating after a CBS-2 reporter showed campus officials a social media account where Carlos Vazquez, 31, allegedly posted racist pictures.

One showed Hitler holding a child with the caption, "Proud father moment when my daughter met the great fuhrer."

Another, according to Channel 2, depicted a black boy with the caption, "Waking up in juvenile jail. It's in their blood."

The Instagram account — where the pictures allegedly appeared — has since been deleted.

"Needless to say, that material on there is hateful and abhorrent and we do not condone it," said Janet Wilson, a UCI spokeswoman.

Wilson said Vazquez is on leave.

A statement on UCI's Transportation and Distribution Services page from Thursday confirmed the investigation.

"It was brought to our attention by a news media outlet that offensive material was discovered on an employee's personal social media site," the statement reads. "This individual is currently on leave and an investigation is underway."

Golden West College fired Vazquez after CBS showed school officials the posts.

"For anyone to have or exhibit that type of behavior is improper and offensive," said Jon Arnold, the college's public safety director and training coordinator. "And obviously we wouldn't allow an employee to behave that way."

Arnold would not say that the Instagram posts caused the firing, explaining that Vazquez was a part-time employee who could be terminated at will.

Vazquez had worked at Golden West since 2010 and was mostly assigned to parking enforcement, Arnold said.

Vazquez was placed on administrative leave Tuesday while Arnold investigated the allegations, but that quickly became irrelevant when the department severed ties with him Wednesday.

"I was immediately concerned," Arnold said about seeing the Instagram account. "Those types of photos or those types of posting or comments struck me as racially biased and anti-Semitic."

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