FDNY Chief James Leonard relieved of duties after allegations of inappropriate behavior

Chief James Leonard was appointed to the post in 2014.

The FDNY’s chief of department was relieved of his duties and placed on modified assignment on Thursday following allegations of inappropriate behavior. 

Chief James Leonard, who was the fire department’s highest ranking uniformed officer, was appointed to the post in 2014. 

"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," FDNY spokesman Frank Gribbon said in an email. 

The details of the allegations were not immediately clear, but The New York Times reported on Thursday that Leonard clashed with First Deputy Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, the FDNY’s highest-ranking nonuniformed woman, and had been accused of bullying and screaming at high-ranking subordinates within the department.

Leonard started with the FDNY in 1979 and lives on Staten Island, according to the FDNY.

Alison Fox