- Thomas Gnau Staff Writer
A New Carlisle resident who expressed neo-Nazi leanings in a lengthy New York Times profile published last weekend now says he has lost his job at a local restaurant and intends to move.
Tony Hovater told the Washington Post that he, his wife and his wife’s brother were all released from their jobs at an area restaurant Monday. All three worked at 571 Grill & Draft House on Milton-Carlisle Road in New Carlisle, the Post said in a story Thursday.
The Post said as well that the restaurant’s owners told them they did not know of Hovater’s views until they read of them in the Times.
“They said the article illustrated ‘some very disturbing images and thoughts’ that they do not share,’” the Post said.
“The owners also said that they and their other employees have been bombarded with threatening and intimidating calls and social media messages since the article was published,” the newspaper said.
“Due to these very disturbing threats, the employee who was featured in the (Times) article suggested that we release him from employment,” the restaurant said in a statement, quoted by the Post and published on a Tipp City news site. “We have done so and have also released his wife and her brother who also worked for us.
“We felt it necessary to fully sever the relationship with them in hopes to protect our 20 other employees from the verbal and social media threats being made from individuals all over the country,” the restaurant said.
“We have no comment at this time on anything,” an employee who answered the phone at the restaurant said Thursday afternoon. In an email, the restaurant referred back to the earlier prepared statement.
The Post also quoted Hovater as saying he intends to move after his home address was published online.
“It’s not for the best to stay in a place that is now public information. We live alone. No one else is there to watch the house while I’m away,” he said.
Hovater acknowledged receiving a message on Facebook seeking comment from this news outlet early Sunday, but since then, he has not responded to requests for comment. Another message was sent Thursday.
The Times article has been widely derided for what some took to be too friendly a stance with a man who had expressed avowed Nazi and white separatist leanings.
The Times quotes him as saying of Adolf Hitler: “I think he was a guy who really believed in his cause. He really believed he was fighting for his people and doing what he thought was right.”
In a response to criticism published late Sunday, the Times stood by the story and said the piece needed to be published to shed light on a subject that demands attention.
“We regret the degree to which the piece offended so many readers,” a Times editor wrote. “We recognize that people can disagree on how best to tell a disagreeable story. What we think is indisputable, though, is the need to shed more light, not less, on the most extreme corners of American life and the people who inhabit them.”