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Heimsness received overtime while on leave

Published On: Feb 01 2013 02:46:12 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 01 2013 02:57:28 PM CST
Officer Stephen Heimsness

Officer Stephen Heimsness

MADISON, Wis. -

Madison Police Officer Stephen Heimsness was paid $1010.24 in overtime while on leave during an investigation of the shooting of Paul Heenan.

Madison Police Chief Noble Wray will hold a news conference Friday at 3 p.m. to discuss new developments regarding Officer Heimsness.

Heimsness was on paid leave during the investigation into the shooting. He claimed the overtime pay for a number of days he was called to work, regarding the investigation, on what were considered days off.

The Madison Police Department union contract states, "Employees, on an off duty day...who are called back to duty...shall be paid...a minimum of three hours at the rate of time-and one-half the employee's regular rate of pay."

Joe Durkin, with the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, told WISC-TV Heimsness was also called in for additional meetings on some days that he was getting paid for a regularly scheduled shift, and he did not put in for OT those days, although he could have under the contract language. 

Officer Heimsness was cleared of any wrongdoing after he shot and killed Heenan, who was unarmed, on Madison's near east side on Nov. 9 while responding to what he thought was a burglary in progress.

It was later determined that Heenan, who was drunk, had entered a neighbor's house by mistake, prompting a 911 call of a reported break-in.

The Dane County district attorney reviewed the case and cleared Heimsness of any criminal liability. The Madison Police Department conducted an internal investigation and concluded that Heimsness acted in compliance with department protocol.

The U.S. Department of Justice said this week it will review the shooting case to determine if Heenan's civil rights were violated by a use of unreasonable force, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil said he asked for the review after receiving up to 100 letters requesting an independent review of the Madison Police Department's internal investigation of the shooting.

The review by the Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., will be limited to the question of whether there was a violation of federal law. Vaudreuil said the review will specifically look at whether Heenan's constitutional rights were violated by the use of unreasonable force.

Michael Bell, an advocate for the Heenan family, told WISC-TV that he spoke with Heenan's parents Thursday afternoon and they didn't know about the U.S. attorney's decision then.

"I'm quite surprised. Hopefully it's a good sign. The U.S. attorney doesn't usually step in like this," Bell said.

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