MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison city records show Officer Stephen Heimsness has earned more than $1,000 in overtime pay while on administrative leave in the wake of his fatal shooting of an unarmed suspect.
Police officials say Heimsness was placed on paid leave Nov. 9, 2012, when Heimsness shot Madison musician Paul Heenan. Authorities say Heenan drunkenly entered the wrong home at bar time on Baldwin Street, and grappled with the arriving Heimsness, who was responding to what was categorized by dispatchers as a burglary-in-progress. Chief Noble Wray determined Heimsness was justified in his use of deadly force, and Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne concluded Heimsness committed no crimes.
In addition to his base salary of $68,250, and additional shift pay, Madison payroll records show Heimsness logged just over fifteen overtime hours since his leave began, and was paid $1,010.24. Records list the reason for the overtime hours as "called in on day off."
Madison police spokesperson Joel DeSpain tells 27 News Heimsness was called in for meetings, but does not specify their nature. Payroll records show two of the six days on which Heimsness earned overtime pay were Nov. 12 and Nov. 13, the Monday and Tuesday following the Friday fatal shooting.
Heenan's friends, Amelia and Nathan Royko Maurer of Madison, launched an on-line petition urging Wray to refrain from reinstating Heimsness to a police patrol position. Wray Tuesday said Heimsness would not return to a patrol slot on his previous, east side Madison police beat.
Nathan Royko-Maurer wonders why Heimsness is not working in a capacity other than as a patrol officer. "Put him in a desk job," Royko-Maurer says.
Payroll records show within a month of the fatal shooting, Heimsness interrupted his leave and worked four days described as "light duty." Wray tells 27 News Heimsness requested to be again placed on leave after that work, and Wray honored Heimsness' request.
Amelia Royko-Maurer disagrees with Wray's decision in clearing Heimsness of responsibility for the fatal shooting, but says Heimsness' continued leave is baffling. "So he's been exonerated. Why isn't he working for the money?"
Royko-Maurer says if Heimsness is receiving counseling, she supports that decision, especially because Heimsness was previously disciplined for using excessive force, when he shot at a fleeing car in a city parking garage. "Nobody wants to run him out of town."
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