Scott Freitag — the director of Salt Lake City’s 911 dispatch center director until he was fired last week for allegedly driving drunk while in a government vehicle — was formally charged on Tuesday.
Freitag, 38, of Layton, was charged in Davis County Justice Court with class B misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol, class C misdemeanor open container/drinking alcohol in a vehicle, and class B misdemeanor carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence of alcohol.
Police said Tuesday that Freitag had a gun in the center consol of his car.
Court documents do not specify the basis for the dangerous weapon charge.
Matthew Rojas, spokesman for the Salt Lake City mayor’s office, said last week that a review of Freitag’s schedule indicates that he was on the clock at the time of the arrest — 1:25 p.m. on Jan. 3 — though he added that Freitag’s schedule is somewhat fluid, due to occasional long days.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski said in a news release announcing the firing: “There is no acceptable reason for anyone to put innocent lives in danger by getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, especially an individual leading a critical public safety agency.
“While I am angry and disappointed in Scott’s behavior, I do hope he gets help to address his problems, and that he finds the support of loved ones that he needs at this time.”
On Jan. 3, a Centerville Police Department sergeant saw the Salt Lake City Corporation vehicle entering the southbound Interstate 15 Kaysville on-ramp and noticed that the vehicle was driven erratically, according to a Centerville police news release.
Freitag was pulled over and failed field sobriety tests. He registered a 0.214 percent blood alcohol content during a breathalyzer test, the release said, and the officer found an open mixed drink in the center console of the vehicle.
Utah’s legal blood-alcohol-content limit for driving is 0.08 percent. It is scheduled to change to 0.05 percent on Dec. 30.
Freitag was cited and released, police said.
Freitag has been a member of the Layton City Council since 2007. He has been elected to the seat three times, and his current term ends in 2019. Freitag is the council’s liaison to the police and fire departments and to the Legislature.
Freitag was initially appointed director of SLC911 in May 2013, by Mayor Ralph Becker. He was reappointed in July 2016, Rojas said. Prior to that, he worked for the Salt Lake City Fire Department for 16 years, serving as communications director, among other posts.
In 2003, he received the Fire Department’s Medal of Gallantry for apprehending an arson suspect at the scene of a fire.
SLC911 Deputy Director Lisa Burnette will serve as acting director until a replacement can be found, Rojas said. SLC911 handles an average of 1,635 calls per day, serving Salt Lake City and Sandy.