By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New York City employee is suspended from work after allegedly mailing a racist letter to a tenant.

The employee works at a city agency that is supposed to be dedicated to fairness, CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported Friday.

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(credit: CBS2)

The letter was sent to Duc Pham after he filed a complaint with the city’s housing department. There was a racial slur on the line where Pham’s name should’ve been.

“It was kind of surreal in that moment,” Pham said.

Pham said he had an inspector come to his apartment after he lost heat and hot water. After the inspection, the landlord was written up for it.

The letter was supposed to be a follow up.

“At first, I was speechless. I didn’t know how to respond,” said Khang Duong, a roommate.

Duong said what hurts is that they had a positive interaction the day of the inspection.

“It feels surreal because we don’t know what we did for that to happen. We treat him with respect. We opened the door, we talked to him. Nothing happened that could raise any red flag,” said Duong.

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Their frustration isn’t just with the person who sent the letter. It’s with the city, too.

“I just feel like we’re not protected, especially as an Asian right now. I don’t feel protected by the city,” said Duong. “Using official form, an official letter, and it seem like they don’t really care.”

For them, posting a photo of the letter on Facebook was about seeking some sort of accountability.

“It’s a mix of being disappointed at the city for this happening, and also we are determined to get to the root cause of what happened,” said Pham.

While these men are hurt by what happened, they told CBS2 the response has been a pleasant surprise.

“The good thing is we found that we have a community that supported us,” Pham said.

For now, the city says the person who sent the letter is suspended without pay and a full investigation is underway.

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CBS2’s Kevin Rincon contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team