Omaha Fire union president denies assault claim

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Omaha Firefighters Union President Steve LeClair remains on paid administrative leave during the investigation of an alleged assault, which he refuted in a statement sent out Thursday.

"“The accusation against me that was reported yesterday about an incident where I allegedly punched a woman at a retirement party back in November is false," LeClair is quoted as saying in a statement released by his attorney to media Thursday afternoon. "The person alleging this is either confused or not being truthful. Once the investigations, which I am cooperating with, have concluded, I’m confident I will be cleared and back to work doing what I have done my entire career; responding to our citizens most in need.”

Police say they are looking a report filed Tuesday that LeClair punched a woman in the back at a bar on Military Avenue in November. LeClair was placed on administrative leave Dec. 21, according to Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert.

"When the City became aware of accusations made against Mr. LeClair, an internal investigation was started by the Omaha Fire Department," Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert said. "Mr. LeClair was placed on paid administrative leave December 21, which is his current status."

LeClair could face a misdemeanor assault charge.

Among other things, the document from W. Patrick Dunn — which stated it would be "the only public comment about the complaint until the investigation is complete" — took issue with the date the complaint with the city was filed: "two months after the alleged incident."

LeClair further defended his character in the statement: “I spent over 12 years as a decorated Army veteran who served hundreds of combat missions. Additionally, I have dutifully served the citizens of Omaha as a Firefighter for over 16 years. Anyone who has come in contact with me over my career will attest to the fact that I would not behave in the manner accused. I have always and will continue to champion diversity and equality and look forward to clearing my name.”