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The Dave Savini Saga

In his recent DUI case, Channel 2's investigative reporter went from defiant to apologetic - maybe - in a hurry. Let's take a look.

Headline: CBS 2 Chicago Reporter Charged With DUI, Battery
Date: January 4
Source: Daily Herald
Key Excerpt:

"CBS 2 Chicago investigative reporter Dave Savini was arrested Saturday in Naperville and now faces misdemeanor charges including battery, driving under the influence of alcohol, and endangering the life of a child after he left the scene of a minor traffic accident, officials said.

"Savini, who lives in Naperville, was arrested about 12:20 a.m. after a minor accident that took place in the parking lot of Taco Bell at 75th Street and Rickert Drive, Naperville police said.

The driver of the other vehicle told police that he wanted to report the collision to police, but Savini refused, Cmdr. Lou Cammiso said. The driver said Savini pushed him when he took a photograph of Savini's license plate with his phone, Cammiso said."

*

Headline: TV Reporter Fighting License Suspension
Date: January 10, 2014
Source: Tribune
Key Excerpt:

"Dave Savini, an investigative reporter with WBBM-Ch. 2, is challenging the suspension of his driving privileges following his weekend arrest in Naperville for driving under the influence, according to court documents filed this week.

"Savini's attorney, Terry Ekl, filed a petition Wednesday in DuPage County seeking to rescind the Illinois statutory suspension that automatically would go into effect 45 days after the arrest.

The petition says Naperville police did not have probable cause to charge Savini with driving under the influence and did not follow proper procedures during Savini's arrest and blood-alcohol test."

*

Headline: Special Prosecutor Appointed In Savini Case
Date: January 15
Source: Tribune
Key Excerpt:

"The special prosecutor was sought by the DuPage state's attorney office because of a potential conflict of interest. One of the supervising attorneys in the prosecutor's office is related to Savini, and may be a potential witness in the case, according to court documents . . .

"Savini, an investigative reporter with CBS 2 Chicago, is due in court Jan. 21 on misdemeanor charges of DUI, battery, child endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident. According to police, Savini, 47, shoved another motorist after the men were involved in a minor accident in the parking lot of a Taco Bell in Naperville early on Jan. 4.

"Savini, who had two teenage passengers, then allegedly drove off before being stopped by police about three miles away. According to reports, he had a blood-alcohol level of .13."

*

Headline: No Photos In Reporter's Case
Date: February 4
Source: Tribune
Key Excerpt:

"A court case against WBBM-Ch. 2 reporter Dave Savini, who has been charged with drunken driving and battery, may be settled at a hearing Tuesday, attorneys said Monday.

"But a DuPage County judge ruled a photographer won't be present inside the courtroom for the hearing.

"Judge James Konetski turned down a request filed on behalf of the Tribune to allow a still photographer inside the courtroom for Savini's appearance.

"Attorney Terry Ekl, who represents Savini, filed an objection to courtroom camera coverage. He said that it would have been disruptive given the high volume of cases normally heard in Konetski's courtroom. The judge agreed."

*

Headline: TV Reporter Pleads Guilty In DUI Case
Date:: February 5
Source: Tribune
Key Excerpt:

"Dave Savini, a reporter for WBBM-Ch. 2, pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence, but prosecutors dropped other charges related to a January incident in the parking lot of a Naperville fast food restaurant . . .

"As part of the negotiated plea, prosecutors dropped all other charges, including battery, leaving the scene of an accident and child endangerment, that were lodged against Savini after a minor traffic accident Jan. 4 in a Taco Bell lot.

"Savini's attorney, Terry Ekl, said he reviewed restaurant videotape of the encounter between Savini and another motorist. Savini did not shove or batter the other motorist as alleged, Ekl said . . .

"Savini drove his son, 14, and the son's friend to get food after spending the night watching a football game on TV, Ekl said. As they were leaving, Savini backed into the bumper hitch on another vehicle, causing little or no damage, Ekl said.

"Savini was accused of shoving the owner of the other vehicle, who was trying to photograph Savini's license plate.

"The Taco Bell manager called police. Officers arrested Savini about three miles from the restaurant; his blood alcohol level was later measured at 0.13, according to reports. The legal limit is 0.08.

"Savini, of Naperville, said he was looking forward to getting back to work but otherwise declined to comment."

*

Savini declined comment, but put out a statement, saying in part that "I will work hard to regain the trust of those who I may have let down."

That's a coward's way out - especially given that his job for a living is to not take "no comment" for an answer.

*

Headline: Savini Gives Statement Regarding DUI Arrest
Date: February 7
Source: Chicagoland Radio and Media
Key Excerpt:

"Earlier this morning, Dave Savini chose to expand upon his Tuesday statement. On one of his Facebook accounts at approximately 8:30 a.m. today, Savini posted the following words . . . "

That link leads to a page that says "This content is currently unavailable. The page you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page."

The statement does not appear on either of the two Facebook accounts I found.

*

Here's the statement anyway, according to CRAM:

Thank you all for the support and prayers - I'm back to work on Monday doing what I do!!!!! HAPPY Friday my friends :)

Just when you think you are strong you find you are not completely that rock you tried so hard to be for so long; a poor choice, a weak moment, a mistake - suddenly you find yourself on a wayward journey fighting with vigor and arduous strides to get back to that safe stone path you once walked. This is not a sprint back nor does it require a swagger in your step, rather it is a crawl guided by the humility of your flaws and fails. The victories you celebrate always seem to find fast company but it is without a doubt the falls you endure that lead to different paths and the discovery of genuine souls. If you are lucky a few loving hands may be there to guide and bear, or shoulder enough of the load to help you stay the course, help you breathe and maybe even laugh with you again when it is time.

This isn't just the age old lesson of learning from a mistake, this is about what has already been learned so it can be shared to pay the knowledge forward.

This month I was given the gift of a new perspective. One that reaps the reward of humility, gratitude, faith and through the healing power of a sincere apology, I may have even found a little grace along the way.

It is a journey not of deflection... it is one of introspection intertwined with the understanding that good friends are not found in the seemingly fun crashing waves that roll in and disappear - they are found in solid, tranquil, placid lakes of water.

I never fully knew the value or strength of such still waters until I met an unexpected storm. The Sun's light now breaks through and in its heat a new trail does now blaze.

Thank You,
Dave

I'm not sure I know what any of that means.

-

Meanwhile, Robert Feder has been on CBS2's case for neither reporting on the Savini case on its airwaves nor commenting on it. I agree with that criticism to the extent that it was worth reporting and there's no reason why a station official shouldn't pick up the damn phone and answer questions from reporters.

For example, has Savini lost credibility due to this incident? Will he be kept away from stories involving the police now? What about stories involving clients of Terry Ekl? And why should his subjects talk to him when he won't talk to reporters? And how can the station now agitate for cameras in the courtroom when their own investigative reporter wouldn't even allow a photographer?

I see little to no value, however, in Feder's seeming desire to get a canned statement out of the station. I'd rather get nothing; it better represents the truth.

-

Comments welcome.



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Posted on February 13, 2014


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