By Jennifer McGraw

SUTTER COUNTY (CBS13) — The district attorney’s office will not file charges against the Sutter County fire chief after he was involved in an alleged criminal hit and run.

Chief John Shalowitz was originally arrested on suspicion of public intoxication following a collision and leaving the scene of the accident.

“Oh, I would be in jail absolutely, very frustrating,” said a local resident in reaction to the news.

The district attorney said charges would not be filed against Shalowitz, and that has people divided.

REALTED: No DUI Charge For Sutter County Fire Chief After Leaving Scene Of Crash

“I feel very bad for him. I know how it is to have your name tarnished when you haven’t done anything wrong,” said one woman.

Late August, Yuba City PD was called after a collision at a fast food parking lot. Police say Shalowitz left his information, went home and called the police to follow up.

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Roughly an hour later, officers arrived and arrested him for public intoxication. The charge was then changed to a hit and run.

A rejection letter CBS13 obtained by the D.A. to Yuba City police says, “The other driver stated that she smelled alcohol from the suspect on the scene. The suspect stated he started to drink once he returned home, but that is a very common lie.”

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Furthermore, the D.A. says this matter should have been handled as a DUI case.

“This is not what I know him as, what he’s accused of,” said Sutter County Board of Supervisor Mat Conant.

Conant says he respects Shalowitz as a fire chief and believes in the justice system to make the right decision.

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“The evidence apparently didn’t support any further action,” Conant said.

CBS13 has reached out to Shalowitz but has not heard back.

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