A liberal Democrat, a gay man living in the very heart of Madison’s liberal isthmus, makes a point that shames your Humble Squire for not thinking of it first.
If the Madison Common Council refuses to reimburse Police Chief Mike Koval the $22,000 he spent defending himself against frivolous charges, you can bet the cop haters will pile on with more.
So says (in effect) Greg Humphrey at his must-read stand, Caffeinated Politics. Of course that is their strategy!
“Unless this malarkey is shut down and the legal bills paid there will be other malcontents who can gin up more false reasons to attack the chief.”
Progressive Dane went advertising for someone to file a complaint and up turned the trippy Sharon Irwin and a companion. They alleged that they were traumatized when Chief Koval called Irwin “a raging lunatic” — “words,” Humphrey writes, “that I would have used too in the same circumstance.”
Those circumstances being Irwin stalking Koval down two flights of stairs leaving a Common Council meeting, shouting at him the whole time, demanding he comment on an active court case that he, as chief of police, was prohibited from addressing.
- This horrendous assault on common decency (Snark Alert!) occurred on 6-7-2016. Drip … drip … drip.
- Progressive Dane advertises for complaints against the chief. 6-30-2016.
- Sharon Irwin steps forward to file complaint on 8-15-2016. Drip … drip … drip …
- The Police and Fire Commission heard testimony on 11-16-2016. Drip … drip … drip …
- It did not rule until 3-14-2017. It found that whatever occurred warranted none of the remedies available to it. (The decision here.) Drip … drip … drip …
- The Common Council met on 4-18-2016 in fulfillment of its pledge to reimburse respondents who prevail at the PFC but asked for more time. Drip … drip … drip … The PFC on 4-25-2017 declined to do so (as city legal counsel Mike May predicted). Drip … drip … drip …
- The chief’s reimbursement now likely will be scheduled for Tuesday, May 2. Drip … drip … drip …
Only 6 of the 20 alders need vote no to (in effect) fine the chief $22,000 for telling it like it is. Humphrey blogs: “The next Madison city council meeting promises to separate those who support our police department from those who hate cops. It really does come down to that fact. It is a sad place to be.”
Madison investigates the police
… Instead of investing in the police. Earlier this week, eight gun crimes were committed in the Emerald City within a five-hour period. (We recount them here.) Chief Koval performed his public duty by sounding the claxon:
“I have been attempting to sound the alarm of the progressively disturbing trends we are experiencing with guns, armed robberies, drug overdoses, and gangs for a long time. This is a snapshot of our reality, Madison. Take a look at what occurred over the course of only 5-hours. And then note that year-to-date, we have 48 “shots fired” incidents and 64 robberies. We must be willing to take affirmative steps to properly prevent and investigate crimes against our community.”
His reward has been a beatdown from Madison’s liberal politicians. Mayor Paul Soglin has “drawn a line in the sand” — ordering Koval to shut up or his department’s budget gets it.
Here is Ald. Amanda Hall from the far east side District 3:
“I was surprised and disappointed to read Chief Koval’s blog this week. After a really tough night for the city, instead of doing his job and administering our Police Department, he was trying to score political points not only for his department’s budget but also for his current personal legal battle with regards to his professional conduct. … I was looking to him for leadership in the situation and unfortunately Madison received the opposite from him.”
No, Alder Hall. Koval and his troops are out there putting fingers in leaking dikes. They’re out there fighting crime. You and your colleagues (with the single exception of Ald. Paul Skidmore) are fighting the police.
- Blaming the police when they defend themselves from attack.
- Second-guessing police when they arrest resisting suspects.
- Scapegoating the police for the racial disparity in criminal conduct.
- Harassing police who have been investigated and cleared by independent agencies for doing their job.
- Affirming racial arsonists by not countering their calumny of officers as trigger-happy racists.
- Investigating the police via a $400,000 study conducted by Berkeley, CA
One of the most intrepid journalists in town, Vicki McKenna, invited Chief Koval to address this very public issue on her WIBA 1310 AM program at 4 this afternoon.
“Koval declined my invitation,” Miss Vicki told me. “He is worried the mayor and council are going to use his call for more resources as a way to deny him his legal fees. The guy is truly strapped to the whipping post. It is shameful.”
Squire Blaska will be his poor substitute on Vicki McKenna’s show
this afternoon from 4 to 5 p.m.