Madison alders will nickel and dime Chief Koval Tuesday night

UPDATE: Council votes 15-4 to reimburse Chief Koval.
UPDATE: We have Ald. Hall’s Rebecca Kemble’s substitute amendment. The magic number is $15,601. That’s how much she is asking the Madison Common Council tonight (5-2-2017) to reimburse Chief Koval. Her rationale is that “the PFC found that Chief Koval violated the MPD Code of Conduct in one of the three incidents alleged in the complaint. That would leave Koval with a fine of $6,352 — a dollar amount usually reserved for felonies.

While Chief Mike Koval and his Madison police officers are stretched thin fighting a growing tide of gang shootings and drug dealing, our elected Madison alders continue to wage their war on policing.

Tuesday night (5-2-17) the Madison Common Council will entertain a motion from Ald. Amanda Hall, District 3, Rebecca Kemble to shortchange Koval and, by extension, his sworn men and women in blue.

Koval has been seeking reimbursement for $21,953 in legal expenses incurred in fending off the most petty, picayune, trivial complaint ever mounted against an officer of the law. The offense? That he called a raging lunatic “a raging lunatic.” The case dragged on from August 15, 2016 until March 14, 2017 –complete with evidence introduced, testimony taken, legislation cited, and lawyers arguing — before the Police and Fire Commission finally ruled that Koval deserved no censure. On the books is a City of Madison ordinance that police and fire chiefs who prevail in actions before the PFC will be reimbursed. But not this chief.

Hall will present a resolution to reimburse Koval “for a majority of his legal fees from his recent professional misconduct case …” (Her complete statement here.)

The investigative team at the Stately Manor could not determine what that majority might mean in dollars and cents. Half plus one dollar? In any event, compensation for the chief is Item #106 on a lengthy agenda. The Council convenes at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Show your support for the chief and give the secret conspiracy signal to the Squire when you see him.

Will Hall’s maneuver succeed? The white lab coats here at the Werkes say the council will pay less than the total or nothing at all. Requires a majority to substitute Hall’s resolution for the full reimbursement sponsored by Ald. Paul Skidmore and Mayor Soglin; only takes six votes to deny payment entirely.

Let’s be clear: anything less than full reimbursement is a slap in the face not only of Mike Koval but of 450 sworn officers. Madison police union leader Dan Frei told Vicki McKenna on her program Friday the rank and file “support[s] him 100%.”

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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