A Los Angeles Fire Department assistant chief pleaded not guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges for allegedly crashing his personal vehicle into a parked car in Santa Clarita and fleeing from the scene.
Ellsworth S. Fortman, 54, of Saugus, was charged May 7 with one misdemeanor count each of hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage and driving a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license.
Prosecutors allege Fortman was driving at an unsafe speed at the time of the Jan. 26 collision and left the scene and drove home.
“The department is aware of the allegations and is cooperating with the D.A.’s Office,” LAFD Capt. Erik Scott said in a statement last week after the charges were announced. “An administrative internal investigation is being conducted by our professional standards division.”
A Sept. 11 pretrial hearing was set for Fortman, who could face up to a year in jail if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.