A Bronx parochial school principal was fired Tuesday from his post at a largely minority school after the Daily News exposed his writings for a white supremacist group.
The dismissal of Frank Borzellieri from Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in the Bronx became a black and white issue: His opinions were deemed "incompatible" with Catholic teachings.
The firing was quickly hailed by the ex-principal's critics, including his old boss at another Catholic school.
"I'm so glad I just can't tell you," said Annemarie Zagaglia, former principal at St. Barnabas elementary school. "People are really happy."
Zagaglia had warned the pastor at Mount Carmel about Borzellieri's beliefs before he was hired in 2009 - but says she was ignored. The school's students are mostly black and Latino.
The Rev. Eric Rapaglia, pastor at the church, apologized to his parishioners for "my mistake in judgment." The pastor fired Borzellieri after consulting with authorities in the Archdiocese of New York.
Archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwilling said officials met with Borzellieri and reviewed "his opinions and beliefs as expressed in his books and columns."
Daniel Dromm, an openly gay teacher targeted by Borzellieri in the early '90s, praised the decision to boot the principal.
"I'm very glad that the Catholic Church did the right thing," said Dromm.
"The fact that this man was allowed to be in this position even after other teachers complained is outrageous."
Borzellieri, 48, bolted from his Queens apartment around 7 a.m. Tuesday after learning about the firing. A neighbor said he was well-regarded in their building.
"He's a very nice guy," the neighbor said. "He's friendly with everyone in the building. Everyone's shocked."
The News revealed that as a Queens school board member, Borzellieri tried to bar "anti-American" literature - including a biography of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - from school libraries.
His own writings included a 2004 book asserting "diversity is a weakness," and Borzellieri was a frequent contributor to the white supremacist publication American Renaissance.
Word of Borzellieri's racist ties caused a ruckus at the parish's Sunday Mass, where one parishioner stood to demand the principal's ouster.