Female Lincoln firefighter seeks investigation of captain

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A female Lincoln firefighter who is suing the department is asking a judge to order an investigation into a fire captain who she says abandoned her team inside a smoke-filled building.

Amanda Benson alleges in an affidavit filed last week that Capt. Shawn Mahler walked away from her crew while they were offering to assist at a fire at a cardboard warehouse in April, The Lincoln Star Journal reported. She said she had to use a thermal-imaging camera to find the fire and a hose line to find the way out.

Benson asked Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf to order the city to begin disciplinary proceedings against Mahler, prohibit him from responding to fires and appoint an independent party to investigate his actions at the April fire.

The city has not yet filed a response to the affidavit.

Court records indicate Mahler told an administrative officer investigating the complaint that he was confused about who was assigned to him.

Benson sued the department in 2018, alleging she was discriminated against and faced retaliation when she complained. She specifically alleged Mahler refused to train her and consistently expressed resistance to female firefighters.