UPDATE: Mayor Soglin and Ald. Skidmore have introduced a measure to reimburse Police Chief Mike Koval for the $22,000 he spent defending himself before the Police and Fire Commisson.
The Madison Police and Fire Commission finally — FINALLY! — ruled on the Progressive Dane/Sharon Irwin complaint against Police Chief Mike Koval. (The PFC heard the case back in November 16.) The PFC found the chief guilty of misconduct for telling the truth.
Calling Sharon Irwin “a raging lunatic,” the PFC ruled 03-14-2017, constitutes misconduct. The police department’s code of conduct prohibits “Discourteous or abusive behavior toward a . . . member of the general public.”
The PFC Decision ruled that the offense warranted none of the remedies available to it — those being suspension, demotion, or dismissal.
Never mind that Sharon Irwin IS a raging lunatic — or, at least, has been acting as such. And did most certainly on the night of June 7 when she followed Chief Koval from the second floor Common Council chambers down to the first floor and from there, down to the ground floor shouting at him all the way.
The official PFC ruling notes that Chief Koval left the chambers to converse with two citizens, Steve and Paula Fitzsimmons, who had been harassed by the gallery during their testimony on a issue before the council.
Complainants were standing nearby and overhead that conversaton, and Complainant Irwin attempted to join in it. Respondent walked with the citizens as they exited the chambers foyer and the City-County Building; Complainants followed them much of the way and Complainant Irwin attempted to engage the two citizens and Respondent in unwanted conversation. Respondent then walked to a stairwell leading to the lower floors of the building and was followed by Complainants, with Complainant Irwin continuing her unwanted attempt to engage Respondent in conversation.
A bystander on the ground floor offered that Irwin should make an appointment with the chief, to whom Koval made his fateful comment. Irwin is the grandmother of Tony Terrell Robinson Jr., who — high on drugs — attacked a police officer in a dimly lit stairwell in March 2015. (Speculation has been rampant on who supplied those drugs.)
Complainant Irwin has persistently and vociferously challenged Respondent and the Police Department to comment on the matter publicly despite being aware that neither the Department nor the Respondent are able to comment thereon.
Under the circumstances, calling Irwin a “raging lunatic” is entirely warranted. Koval should have arrested the woman for disorderly conduct.
The Council is in the grip of the anti-police Irwin faction. They will use the mild rebuke today from the Police and Fire Commission as an excuse not to pay him a dime.
The city’s war on police is being waged on multiple fronts. It is not over.