Madison (WKOW) -- In an exclusive interview, suspended Madison fire lieutenant Craig Underkofler told 27 News he is going to be reinstated to his job, sixteen months after becoming the subject of an Amber Alert when he violated court orders and took his children to Minnesota.
"Just thrilled to be going back to work," Underkofler told 27 News. "(It's been) a long ordeal and it caused alot of burdens on a ton of people. We're moving on."
Underkofler's four children were found safe and with him after the alert was issued in June 2007. Underkofler had a weapon and ammunition. An attorney for one of Underkofler's former wives said Underkofler was attempting to get to Canada.
Authorities charged Underkofler with four felony crimes, but he was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. Since Feburary, a worker with the Department of Corrections' division of community corrections has supervised Underkofler's actions, treatment and medications.
Underkofler told 27 News he's stable enough to handle the stress of being a fire department officer again, supervising others, possibly in life and death situations. "I'm hungry for it. I've been doing the job twenty five years." Court records reflect positive evaluations of Underkofler's work history.
During Underkofler's paid suspension, city officials said he received $143,077 in salary and benefits.
Fire department spokesperson Lori Wirth confirmed for 27 News a decision had been made on Underkofler's future with the department, but declined to provide any specifics, including what progress Underkofler had made since the Amber Alert was issued to satisfy fire officials of Underkofler's fitness for reinstatement. Officials with Firefighters union local 311 have yet to return a call to 27 News.