Charges filed against county sheriff for shots fired

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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Recent charges have been filed against Placer County Sheriff’s Lt. John Savage for shots allegedly fired into the air on Oct. 8, 2009. According to the Rocklin Police report, police were called to Savage’s neighborhood on Lakebreeze Drive in Rocklin, after receiving 911 calls that neighbors reportedly heard five or six gunshots fired at 9:43 p.m. on Oct. 8. Savage has been charged under penal code section 246.3 as a misdemeanor for discharge of a firearm with gross negligence. According to Placer County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Art Campos, the case can either be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony, but said he could not specify as to why the charge was filed as a misdemeanor. “This is a very sensitive case,” Campos said. If convicted, Savage could face up to one year in the county jail and/ or be fined up to $1,000, Campos said. Placer County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Jeff Ausnow issued a statement regarding the charges against Savage. “We are very concerned about the criminal allegation against one of our officers and take the charges very seriously. Lt. John Savage is currently on active duty and is assigned to the main office in Auburn. We are monitoring this case and are running a concurrent personnel investigation, which by law restricts us from making further comments,” the statement read. The case’s sensitivity led to a lengthy investigation. Campos said the Rocklin Police Department conducted numerous interviews of witnesses to find “every potential witness.” Witnesses were re-interviewed, some were interviewed three times for an “incredibly thorough investigation,” he said. Once the investigators within the Rocklin Police Department finished their investigation, the information was forwarded to the Placer County District Attorney’s office, Rocklin Police Lt. Lon Milka told The Placer Herald in October. Discharging a firearm into the air could lead to death or injury. Milka said no injuries were reported. Savage’s arraignment is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. April 20 in Dept. 31 at the Santucci Justice Center in Roseville.