Arbitrator: Firefighter union chief should get city job back

November 13, 2019 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha’s mayor is considering appealing an arbitrator’s reinstatement of the president of the Omaha firefighters union whom the city fired following an investigation into whether he assaulted a woman at a bar.

The city fired Steve LeClair from his firefighter job in February after he was ticketed for misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct. In June he pleaded no contest and was sentenced to six months of probation.

Police investigated after a woman accused LeClair of punching her in her back when she ignored his sexually charged comments. The woman, who is black, also says LeClair whispered the words “white power” in her ear before hitting her. LeClair denied her allegations, but his attorney has said LeClair elbowed the woman.

The arbitrator said in her ruling Tuesday that LeClair’s actions merited discipline but not firing.

Mayor Jean Stothert disagrees with the ruling, and Stothert says she is considering appealing it to Douglas County District Court.