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Plea agreement: Former CPD captain admits to bribery, filing false tax returns

Michael Savard cuts deal with federal prosecutors
Posted: 3:30 PM, Aug 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-17 07:27:59-04
WCPO mike savard.png

CINCINNATI — Former Cincinnati Police Captain Michael Savard agreed to plead guilty to bribery and filing a false tax return, according to a plea agreement filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

The plea agreement states that while Savard was CPD captain in May, he solicited and agreed to accept a $5,000 cash bribe from an unnamed CPD sergeant. The bribe was payment for Savard retiring early, which enabled the sergeant to move up the promotions list.

Savard received the $5,000 in cash on June 6, according to the plea agreement. He also "willfully filed false tax returns for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017," according to the agreement.

Savard admitted in the agreement that he underreported his total income for 2015 by not reporting money he earned while working off-duty details at Cincinnati businesses.

"He pleaded guilty because it was in his best interest at the time," Savard's defense attorney Christopher McDowell told WCPO.

McDowell said he will argue that Savard should receive probation.

According to the plea agreement, a conviction for bribery carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A conviction for filing a false tax return can result in a three year prison sentence and a fine up to $100,000.

Savard was arrested on June 6. He was released on his own recognizance the next day.

The plea hearing has not been scheduled.