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FDNY Chief James Leonard relieved of duties over ‘allegations of inappropriate behavior’

Posted: 2:04 PM, Dec 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-06 14:11:15-05

NEW YORK — FDNY Chief James Leonard has been relieved of his duties over “allegations of inappropriate behavior,” a department spokesman said Thursday.

FDNY Chief James Leonard is pictured. (

“While a review is conducted by the city’s Law Department concerning allegations of inappropriate behavior, Chief James Leonard has been relieved of his duties as Chief of Department effective today and placed on modified assignment,” spokesman Frank Gribbon said in a statement.

Chief of Operations John Sudnik will serve as acting chief of department, according to Gribbon.

The department did not say what allegations have been levied against Leonard, but the NY Daily News reports Leonard is accused of “abrasive and aggressive” behavior toward other chiefs and First Deputy Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, the only woman in a top rank in the department.