The Squire of the Stately Manor had just entered the elevator of the City-County Building when Sharon Irwin and Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores flew past on the way to Monday night’s (3-27-17) City of Madison Board of Estimates meeting. They were late.
The two missed all the fun. The Board of Estimates (BOE) had just recommended (by a 3-1 vote) to compensate Police Chief Mike Koval for his attorney’s fees defending himself against their charges. That’s $22,000 we, the taxpayer, must pony up for their foolishness.
As if to give the people our money’s worth, Ald. Marsha Rummel — the lone nay vote — performed a comedy routine that would have gotten her gonged by the late Chuck Barris.
We excerpt Madame Brenda Konkel, leader of Progressive Dane, who records (at her own blog) the remarkable scene. To set the stage, Ald. Rummel had just asked if the BOE could refer the verdict of a quasi-judicial proceeding conducted by an independent agency back to the Police and Fire Commission!
[City] Attorney [Michael] May chuckles, and says we’re not a party to the case, the chief could, but he got all the charges dismissed so he wouldn’t do that. … He says they don’t have standing to ask them to reconsider.
Rummel says that if she ruled the world she would say “Chief, please go get some anger management training.” “There is no way we can make that recommendation as a part of this authorization?”
Again, Attorney May is almost giggling, but he says you can’t do that with this resolution but you might suggest that to the chief formally or informally or have the mayor suggest it. He’d have to think about if there is any other way to suggest that to him.
Rummel says this is troubling, she understands the argument that was made by attorney May, but here we have an example of behavior that should not just be totally dismissed and cleared and she doesn’t know how, given the parameters we are stuck in, to address it.
She initially thought maybe he pays 1/3 of the bill, but she doesn’t know if they can do that or if it is reasonable given the way the ordinance is. There was something inappropriate in his actions and it doesn’t feel right to her to reimburse all the money.
The irony is that Sharon Irwin had complained to the PFC that Chief Koval had called her “a raging lunatic.” The chief was accurate, but Ms. Irwin has company — and allies — on the Madison Common Council. Last night’s vote was 3-1 to compensate the chief but he’s going to need 4-1 at the Common Council because the compensation requires a three-fourths vote.
‘Another vote that undermines Madison police’
A constituent of Marsha Rummel rightly disdains the addled alder’s lunacy. Here is Greg Humphrey (no Republican, he) who blogs at Caffeinated Politics:
There was no surprise when Madison Alder Marsha Rummel, the best example of what shameless politics looks like on the local level, cast another vote that undermines the Madison Police Department. … This is a city that prides itself on free speech … so one can argue, given what was happening the night Kovel told a citizen she was a “raging lunatic,” that it can be argued two different ways.
First, Koval was being honest as he saw the situation. Second, he was being more circumspect than what many in that same situation would have been. [June 7, 2016] was a long day and the council meeting [its treatment of Paula and Steve Fitzsimmons, who had testified on behalf of the Madison Police Department] was just rude.
Irwin is the grandmother of Tony Terrell Robinson Jr. who, on March 2015 — high on magic mushrooms and prescription drugs — he attacked a Madison police officer and was shot in self-defense. (From whom did he get the dope? Inquiring minds …) Irwin and Ms. Kilfoy-Flores complained to the PFC:
- That Koval was running amok in Council Chambers the night of June 7 (he wasn’t),
- That he put his hand on his service weapon in their presence, (so?)
- That he expressed the opinion that Irwin is a raging lunatic. (The woman had only been in close pursuit and yelling at the chief down two flights of stairs.)
Can you spell F-R-I-V-O-L-O-U-S ?
During the hearing before the PFC way back in November (which the Squire attended), Sharon Irwin never denied her bizarre behavior. She just answered, in effect, that’s how I roll. She blamed PTSD, although Koval’s attorney never asked for proof.
What is Marsha Rummel’s excuse?
If Madison’s liberal alders want to complain, they might ask why the PFC case dragged on for seven months instead of being immediately dismissed.