Steve LeClair

Steve LeClair was hired by the city in 2002 and has served as the fire union’s president for a decade. He was placed on paid administrative leave Dec. 21.

Steve LeClair, president of the Omaha firefighters union, says that a woman is falsely accusing him of assault and that she is either “confused or not being truthful.”

“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,” LeClair said in a statement. He has been on paid administrative leave from his city firefighter job since December.

LeClair issued the statement Thursday afternoon in response to a woman’s allegations that he struck her in the back at a bar in November.

The woman, who filed a police report Tuesday, said LeClair approached her at Tiger Tom’s Pub near 72nd Street and Military Avenue several times, used lewd language toward her and whispered “white power” into her ear before shoving her into the bar. The woman is black, according to the police report.

Reached by The World-Herald on Thursday, the woman who filed the report declined to comment. The World-Herald is declining to name her because of the sexual nature of the allegations. The newspaper does not name people who allege that they were victims of sexual assault, although it’s unclear whether any of LeClair’s alleged behavior could result in a sexual assault charge.

LeClair said the woman didn’t file a complaint with the city for more than a month after the alleged incident and waited another month after that to go to police.

The woman told police that she called the Omaha Firefighters Hall the Monday after the alleged events to inquire how to report LeClair’s behavior. It is unclear when the woman filed a complaint with the city.

But the woman told police that a fire captain had told that her she needed to file a police report in order to proceed with a complaint with the city.

The woman said she hadn’t reported the assault to police because she thought that no one would believe her.

LeClair, who has been a firefighter for the City of Omaha since 2002, said, “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.” He has been the head of the fire union since 2009.

“I have always and will continue to champion diversity and equality and look forward to clearing my name,” he said.

No charges have been filed; police are still investigating .

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emily.nohr@owh.com, 402-444-1309

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