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An employee of the city's Human Resources Administration has been fired for asking a welfare recipient to babysit his ferret.
The city Conflict of Interest Board said Tuesday that caseworker -- and ferret owner -- Kempe Hope exploited his position by soliciting a paid ferret-sitting session from a person whose benefits he was overseeing, according to The New York Times.
The Times said efforts to reach Hope were unsuccessful.
It's not the first time ferrets have caused controversy in New York.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani banned pet ferrets in 1999 and once accused a ferret advocate of mental illness.
Giuliani declared on his radio program that "this excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness.''
Ferrets are actually cousins of the weasel.
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