University of Tampa professor fired over Harvey 'karma' tweet

Kenneth Storey wrote he thought Harvey was punishment for Trump voters.

TAMPA, Fla. – A  University of Tampa professor was fired Tuesday for a series of tweets, in which he referred to now Tropical Storm Harvey as “karma” for Texas residents who voted for President Donald Trump.

Sociology Professor Kenneth Storey was relieved of his duties, after admittedly tweeting “I dont believe in instant Karma but this kinda feels like it for Texas. Hopefully this will help them realize the GOP doesnt care about them” Sunday afternoon.

He has since removed the tweet, but it didn’t stop UT from removing him from its staff.

In a statement Tuesday, UT wrote:

“On Sunday, Aug. 27, visiting assistant professor of sociology Kenneth Storey made comments on a private Twitter account that do not reflect UT's community views or values. We condemn the comments and the sentiment behind them, and understand the pain this irresponsible act has caused.

Storey has been relieved of his duties at UT, and his classes will be covered by other sociology faculty.

As Floridians, we are well aware of the destruction and suffering associated with tropical weather. Our thoughts and prayers are with all impacted by Hurricane Harvey.”

"I deeply regret a statement I posted yesterday." I never meant to wish ill will upon any group. I hope all affected by Harvey recover quickly." Storey said in a tweet on Monday.

Storey has since made his Twitter account private, and he issued the following response on Sunday night in an email to 10News:

10News reporter Candice Aviles talked to Storey on Sunday night.  He did not wish to speak directly about the matter, but sent the following email in response:

"This was taken out of context. I was referring to the GOP denial of climate change science and push to decrease funds from agencies that can help in a time like this. I hope all affected by the storm are safe and recover quickly. I also hope this helps the GOP realize the need to support climate change research and put in place better funding for agencies like NOAA and FEMA. 

I've been clear with that through various tweets that followed the initial tweet. It is hard to express one's full thoughts in 140 characters and I realize that taken out of context the original tweet may sound extremely off-putting. I never intended it to be that.

After receiving threats, I have protected my twitter account for the time being.

That is all I have to say regarding this tweet.”

Storey has not yet responded to our renewed request for comment in light of his firing.

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