A Cincinnati Police captain, suspended in January, could be fired and headed to jail if convicted on federal bribery charges.
Fifty-two-year-old Michael Savard of Anderson Township faces up to a decade behind bars if found guilty of asking for, and then taking, $5,000 from a fellow sergeant in exchange for Sevard's early retirement and the promise of a promotion for the sergeant.
The Justice Department says Savard was already under investigation by the IRS for potential criminal offenses related to financial benefits received from the Cincinnati Police Department.
"And then there's an allegation that the person tries to shake-down a sergeant for cash, in effect, attempting to sell that person a promotion to a higher rank. We just can't look the other way," says U.S. Attorney Ben Glassman.
Glassman explained at a Friday news conference that the sergeant was next in line on a promotion eligibility list that was due to expire in June. If not promoted before the expiration, he would have to retake a civil service promotional exam and might lose his place on the promotion list.
The IRS interviewed the sergeant and the sergeant told investigators of Savard's offer. The next time he wore a wire when meeting with Savard. When Savard accepted the $5,000, he was arrested.
Savard was arraigned Friday afternoon and faces an employment hearing next week.
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac says this is a sad day for the department. "It has and it will always be our commitment to root out any type of corruption inside the department and it will not be tolerated."
As a captain in the police department, Sevard was in charge of the Special Services Section.