Former Vashon cop fired for misconduct
By NATALIE JOHNSON
Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber Reporter
November 15, 2011 · 11:30 AM
Kevin Savage, a King County sheriff’s deputy who racked up several complaints during his short time patrolling Vashon in 2010, was fired last week, according to sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West.
In an internal email, Chief Deputy Steve Strachan said he decided to terminate Savage after finding that he engaged in unbecoming conduct, practiced inappropriate use of authority and made false or fraudulent reports or statements.
“The pattern of behavior and the lack of integrity are completely unacceptable for a member of this department,” Strachan wrote.
Savage was involved in a high-profile incident on Vashon in May of 2010, when local restaurant owner Jessica DeWire scratched Savage’s partner outside of the Sportsmen’s Inn and was later charged with third-degree assault. Witnesses at the time claimed that Savage’s partner had thrown DeWire to the ground before she scratched him in defense.
One year ago DeWire’s attorney Steve Mueller filed a motion for charges against DeWire to be dismissed. Mueller said that Savage acted as a bully after the incident and with his partner filed a false report about it. Mueller said Savage used profanity-laced language, physical posturing and threats to intimidate witnesses of the event in an effort to assure that his false report stood up.
In one instance, Mueller wrote in the motion, Savage went to a female witness’ home in the middle of the night and yelled and ranted at her for 45 minutes, insisting that her account of the incident in front of the Sportsmen’s Inn was wrong.
After the sheriff’s office received several complaints from Islanders about Savage, he was reassigned to White Center while the agency investigated.
According to documents obtained by KING 5, a top-ranking commander ultimately ruled that Savage had committed misconduct 18 times during his nine months on Vashon.
While patrolling in South King County, Savage continued to receive complaints, including one that he made inappropriate comments about sex and drugs to a 15-year-old girl, according to KING 5. He was put on paid administrative leave in June of this year.
In all, Savage was the target of 17 internal investigations and has had 26 findings of misconduct during his two years working for King County.
Mueller, reached at his office on Monday, said he agreed that Savage should be fired. He also said he wondered if there would be a criminal investigation.
“There were obviously serious complaints stemming from what I saw as his activity on Vashon,” he said.
Contact Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber Reporter Natalie Johnson at email@example.com or 206-463-9195.