Steve LeClair, president of the Omaha Firefighters Union, will be charged with misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct after a woman said he punched her at a bar and said a racist remark.
City Prosecutor Matt Kuhse said Friday that after a “thorough review” of the details of the investigation, he has directed the Omaha Police Department to cite LeClair with assault and battery and disorderly conduct.
“In reviewing the evidence and circumstances of this incident, these are the appropriate charges to pursue,” Kuhse said.
Pat Dunn, LeClair’s attorney, said allegations that his client punched a woman are “fundamentally untrue.”
“Mr. LeClair looks forward to addressing these issues in the courtroom,” Dunn said.
Kuhse said he’s aware that the word “punch” was used to describe the sensation the woman said she felt.
“The investigation reveals that a physical contact of some sort occurred and was witnessed,” he said.
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LeClair, who is a city firefighter, has been on paid administrative leave from the city since December. He will remain on paid administrative leave as the city’s internal investigation continues, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Fire Chief Dan Olsen said in a joint statement.
The woman, Reenita Jackson, filed a police report last month, saying LeClair punched her in the back at Tiger Tom’s Pub near 72nd Street and Military Avenue in November. The force, she said, caused her to fall forward into the bar.
She told police that LeClair approached her and a friend several times, made sexual comments toward her and said “white power” into her ear before punching her in the back. Jackson is black.
LeClair, whom Jackson said she later identified through a news clip, was removed from the bar after the incident, Jackson told police.
After Jackson filed the police report, LeClair denied the allegations, saying Jackson was either “confused or not being truthful.”
Loretta Collins, Jackson’s attorney, declined to comment Friday.
Assault and battery and disorderly conduct are both misdemeanors under city code. Each offense is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.
LeClair was cited by Omaha police on Friday. His court date is set for March.