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Layton councilman, head of Salt Lake's 911, arrested in DUI case

Mayor fires Scott Freitag from position over dispatch center

Scott Freitag
Scott Freitag
Layton City

SALT LAKE CITY — A Layton councilman and head of Salt Lake City's 911 Dispatch Center was arrested Wednesday for investigation of DUI.

Scott D. Freitag, 48, of Layton, was arrested by Centerville police and accused of driving under the influence, having an open container in his car and possession of a firearm by an intoxicated person.

Freitag's blood alcohol content was .214 percent — more than 2 ½ times the legal limit — when he was tested on the Intoxilyzer machine, according to Centerville Assistant Police Chief Von Steenblik.

"I made a mistake. I'm dealing with the consequences," Freitag told the Deseret News Thursday, adding that he would comment more at a later time.

For many years, Freitag was the face of the Salt Lake City Fire Department as its spokesman. Freitag is currently a city councilman in Layton and was head of Salt Lake City's 911 Emergency Dispatch until Thursday, when Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski issued a statement saying he had been fired.

“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,” she said. “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.”

Freitag was initially appointed director of Salt Lake's 911 in May 2012 and reappointed in July 2016.

Freitag was driving a Salt Lake City Corp. vehicle with exempt plates when a Centerville officer noticed him driving "in an erratic manner" on I-15 about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Steenblik said. He was pulled over at a rest stop in Kaysville.

"He was very cooperative. Didn't give us a problem. He knew he had messed up," the assistant chief said.

Steenblik said his officers didn't like having to arrest Freitag, a popular figure in the area. "We have to do what we have to do," he said. "We enforce the law. But it's hard. It's something we don't like doing."

When asked about Freitag's status as councilman and whether his arrest will have any impact on his position, Layton Mayor Bob Stevenson said, "We're still trying to understand all of the facts." He wasn't immediately sure what steps will be taken next.

"We'll figure out the situation and do everything we can to help Scott and go from there," he said. "Right now I think more love needs to be shown than anything."

Assistant Layton city attorney Steve Garside said in a prepared statement that the city "has very limited information and is not in a position to either comment on the situation or present any position." He said the city will "await the outcome of the legal proceedings."

Freitag is also the liaison on the Layton City Council to the police and fire departments and the Utah Legislature. In addition, he co-chairs the countywide Central-Aided Dispatch project. He holds a bachelor of science in Health Services Administration from Weber State University.

Lisa Burnette will serve as acting director of Salt Lake's 911 until a replacement can be found.

Contributing: Katie McKellar