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Pics: Attorney fired over ‘gas chamber’ antisemitic comments

A judges gavel. (Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar/TNS)
October 20, 2023

An Illinois State Comptroller’s Office attorney was fired Thursday after the office was notified of antisemitic messages that had been sent to a Jewish individual.

In a private message exchange with an Instagram account called Big Law Boiz, the attorney, Sarah Chowdhury, labeled the Jewish individual as “vermin,” claiming that the Jewish people “should have all been killed decades ago.”

The fired attorney warned the Jewish individual, “All you zionists will pay,” prior to saying that she was praying, “Hopefully someone sends you anthrax or poison and you die a slow terrible death.”

After the Jewish individual responded to Chowdhury’s antisemitic remarks, the attorney said, “I’d rather put you in a gas chamber… with all your Zionist ancestors.”

She added, “Hitler should have eradicated all of you.”

The state’s comptroller office issued a statement Thursday explaining that the office had been notified of Chowdhury’s private messages at roughly 12:30 p.m., after which Comptroller Susana Mendoza contacted the attorney just an hour and a half later. After admitting that she was responsible for making at least some of the comments in the private messages, Chowdhury was fired, according to The New York Post.

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The comptroller’s office said in a statement Thursday it was made aware of Chowdhury’s private messages around 12:30 p.m., and Comptroller Susana Mendoza contacted her about an hour and a half later.

“Comptroller Mendoza has zero tolerance for antisemitism or hate speech,” the comptroller’s office said in the statement.

Chowdhury was also removed from her position as the president of the South Asian Bar Association. In a statement on Facebook, the group wrote, “The South Asian Bar Association of Chicago stands against hate, bigotry, and bias in any form.”

Addressing Chowdhury’s antisemitic statements, the South Asian Bar Association stated, “We are deeply saddened and horrified by her words and their impact on our friends, families, and colleagues, and we apologize for any harm they may have caused.”

The organization explained that Chowdhury’s comments were not “reflective” of the South Asian Bar Association. The group emphasized its rejection of “hateful rhetoric” and its commitment to supporting local communities and “those impacted by hate.” “We will not tolerate such behavior by any of our members,” the statement said.

Chowdhury told The Chicago Tribune she is “extremely” remorseful for her “inappropriate and reprehensible” remarks made in private messages to the Jewish individual. She claimed that she was distressed over the conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas and was upset with the media’s coverage of the conflict.

“I don’t know what came over me,” Chowdhury stated. “I was in a state of panic. Antisemitism has no place anywhere.”