Heimsness leave-pay figures released

Investigations continue for officer-involved shooting, inappropriate comments
Heimsness leave-pay figures released
Officer Stephen Heimsness

Officials are releasing the details of compensation given to embattled Madison Police Officer Stephen Heimsness. He remains on paid administrative leave through multiple investigations.

Since Feb. 1, the city has paid Heimsness $40,117.81, including $12,390 in benefits. That is based on a $2,625 biweekly base pay, plus additional money for seniority on the force and working the night shift.

Heimsness was originally put on leave for the officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of Paul Heenan last November but is now being investigated for inappropriate messages sent on the department’s internal computer system.

A number of Madison police officers are also under investigation after Chief Noble Wray called for the firing of Heimsness.

Most of Wray’s charges against Heimsness are linked to inappropriate messages sent on the department’s internal computer system and not connected to the shooting of Heenan. Wray filed a complaint with the Police and Fire Commission Friday, formally asking for his removal from the force.

Sgt. Michael Hanson said the department hasn’t released how many officers are on leave or what they do on the force, but confirmed at least some of the officers are being investigated due to exchanges with Heimsness. The others are in question after a department-wide audit of the computer system.

Disclosure of their names under these circumstances could negatively impact the Department’s ability to maintain an effective system of internal discipline and compliance with administrative procedure, according to a release.

Wray’s complaint will likely take months to process, according to Police and Fire Commission attorney Scott Herrick.

Herrick explained he still needs to serve Heimsness or his attorney with the complaint. Once that happens, an initial hearing will happen within 30 days.

None of the counts against Heimsness refer to his shooting and killing Heenan, a local musician, on the near east side in November, which put Heimsness on administrative leave he still hasn’t returned from.