Prosecutors will not charge a former Omaha State Bank CEO who displayed a gun at work — an event that led someone at the bank to call 911 and a bank vice president to later file a police report saying she was “scared to death.”
Michael Dahir, 64, was put on leave after the Nov. 20 incident and no longer is employed at Omaha State Bank. He says that reports of the incident were overblown and that he simply was showing off a “new toy.”
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said he met recently with the woman who went to police afterward — Karen Cenovic, executive vice president and chief credit officer. Kleine said Cenovic told him she was not interested in pursuing a criminal case against Dahir.
“Certainly, it's a serious matter,” Kleine said. “Her thoughts were that she didn't want to proceed any further — not that it didn't happen, but that the (bank) board had reviewed the matter and handled it, she thought, appropriately.”
Kleine said he had considered filing third-degree assault charges under a law that makes it a misdemeanor to “threaten someone in a menacing manner.”
However, he said, he would have needed Cenovic's testimony to establish that she felt threatened.
Cenovic and Dahir gave vastly different accounts of the after-hours incident at the bank, 12100 West. Center Road.
According to a police report obtained by The World-Herald:
Four days after the incident, Cenovic went to Central Police Headquarters. She told officers that Dahir had come into her office upset about a banking decision she had made. Dahir pointed his finger at her, raised his voice and “(chewed) her out,” the report said.
A half-hour or so later, Cenovic told police, she was working at her desk when she noticed a laser dot on her forehead. The laser went to her chest and to her computer. She looked up and saw Dahir pointing a gun at her while walking toward her. Cenovic told police she was “scared to death.”
She asked Dahir what it was and what he was doing. Dahir told her it was a “lethal weapon, a 9mm Luger and laughed,” the police report said.
He then stated the gun was not loaded and showed Cenovic it was empty. She said she later received a voicemail from Dahir in which he apologized for making her feel uncomfortable and said he was “just excited about the new toy.”
Dahir and his attorney, David Domina, have disputed portions of the police report — calling Cenovic's account “sensationalized” and “gossip.” Dahir has said there was no connection between the earlier banking discussion and showing the gun.
Dahir said he had ordered the new pistol and went to a Guns Unlimited store to buy it around 5 p.m.
He said he returned about 6:15 p.m., intending to show the gun to another bank employee, but that employee had left to attend a basketball game.
Dahir said he was particularly excited by the laser pointer, which switches on when you hold the grip of the gun. He showed the gun to two administrative assistants. Those employees said that Dahir showed them the gun and its laser pointer and that neither felt threatened.
Dahir has said he then walked down a short hallway leading to Cenovic's office and showed it to her.
With her back turned to him, he said, Cenovic saw the laser dot on the wall, but Dahir said it wasn't pointed at her and she saw a “friendly face” when she turned around. Dahir said he didn't aim the pistol or the laser at her.
“It was a very jovial, innocuous, unthreatening atmosphere,” he has said. “I wasn't angry at all.”
Dahir said Friday he was “glad” but not surprised that Kleine didn't file charges.
“He saw nothing there because there wasn't anything there,” Dahir said.
Kleine disagreed with that characterization.
“The reason we're not moving forward is because she's our witness and she wants the board's actions to be the end of it,” Kleine said. “We took it seriously. She took it seriously.
“No matter what the circumstances were, there's nothing humorous about what he did. It's not something that anyone should even think about joking about.”
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