NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Chief of the FDNY has been relieved of his duties amid an investigation of unspecified inappropriate behavior.
“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,” Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Frank Gribbon said.
In the interim, Chief of Operations John Sudnik will serve as Acting Chief of Department.
Sources told CBS2 on Thursday the “inappropriate behavior” is not sexual in nature but deals with how he managed subordinates and interacted with other members of the department.
According to The Daily News earlier this week, there have been reported allegations that Leonard was having clashes with many in the department, including First Deputy Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, the only woman at the top of the FDNY roster.
Leonard, 59, was appointed Chief of Department by Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro in 2014.
According to the city government’s website, Leonard started with Engine 310 in Brooklyn in 1979. During the next three decades he held different roles both as a fire marshal and firefighter until becoming Deputy Assistant Chief and Brooklyn Borough Commander in 2010.
The FDNY’s Counterterrorism Task Force was created when Leonard was chief.