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San Diego Fire captain sentenced to probation for felony domestic violence

Posted at 5:00 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 02:16:50-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A San Diego fire captain convicted of domestic violence was sentenced Wednesday.

Steven Michaels received three years probation, 52 weeks of counseling and 180 days of custody which will be served in a county parole and alternative custody program, according to City News Service.

Michaels, a veteran fire captain with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, pleaded guilty in 2017 to shoving his girlfriend against a wall and refusing to let her use a phone to call for help, CNS reported.

RELATED: Veteran San Diego fire captain pleads guilty to domestic violence charge

Michaels filed a request to have the felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor, but Judge Timothy Walsh denied the request citing a history of alcohol-related incidents of domestic violence.

The felony conviction will likely cause Michaels to lose his job.

"He's taken away his career," said Walsh," if there is a career left. Four times!"

When asked if Michaels was still employed by the department, Monica Munoz, a spokesperson for San Diego Fire-Rescue, only said, “we can’t give information about personnel issues.”

10News has also requested comment from a spokesperson with SDFD's personnel department. 

Public records website, Transparent California, shows Michaels made $213,407 in 2016.

The victim, Jane Doe, initially told investigators she feared for her safety, according to prosecutors. However, at the sentencing hearing she told the court she did not wish for Michaels to be convicted.

Verna Tabor with the Center for Community Solutions says it is not uncommon for victims to blame themselves. Her organization has a 24-hour tip-line for anyone who wants resources for domestic abuse.

The number is (888) DV-LINKS or (888) 385-4657.