MPD officer charged with OWI with child in the car

Officer remains on patrol while case is in court
MPD officer charged with OWI with child in the car
Kelly Hoeft

A Madison Police officer remains on patrol after being charged with operating while intoxicated and having a minor child in the vehicle.

Court documents indicate the incident happened at McKenna Boulevard and Raymond Road on June 1. A citizen reported seeing a vehicle plow through the intersection and take out road signs in the median.

A criminal complaint says Kelly Ann Hoeft was driving that vehicle, and was identified “by means of a police identification card” by the officer on the scene. Hoeft registered a 0.27 blood alcohol level when given a breathalyzer test, and was found to a have a 5-year-old child in the backseat. She also allegedly told the officer “I’ve definitely been drinking” during their conversation.

Hoeft has been charged with two misdemeanors, including first offense OWI and OWI with a blood alcohol content of more than .15 with a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle. The Dane County District Attorney’s office initially charged Hoeft with a lesser BAC offense, but modified the charges on Aug. 22. Hoeft also received a municipal citation for hit-and-run.

Madison police did not release an incident report on the matter in June. An MPD spokesman said Hoeft was placed on leave immediately following the incident, but that she is back on patrol while the court case is in progress.

Hoeft was removed from her assignment as a safety education officer and reassigned to patrol, Madison police Chief Mike Koval said in a statement.

Koval said an internal review will take place after the criminal case is completed.

“An officer’s employment status while a case progresses is made on a case-by-case basis, taking a broad view of the circumstances,” Koval said.

The department’s professional standards unit will determine whether Hoeft violated any policies or procedures.

“As Chief, I must be concerned with ensuring the public’s confidence that those who are entrusted to serving our community understand that there is an expectation of being held to a higher standard,” Koval said. “When an officer makes a bad decision off-duty, it reflects poorly on all of us. I have spoken with this officer and I know how she deeply regrets what this incident has meant to both her personal reputation as well as that of MPD.”

Hoeft is due in court Sept. 26 for a final pre-trial conference. If convicted, she faces between 5 days and 6 months in jail.

This story was first reported by WISN 1130 radio this week.