City News

MPD chief faces reprimand, no disciplinary action following ‘raging lunatic’ comment

Madison Police Department Chief Mike Koval was cited for misconduct by the Police and Fire Commission Wednesday, after calling the grandmother of Tony Robinson—a teen shot and killed by an MPD officer in 2015—a “raging lunatic.”

Image By: Cong Gao

Madison Police Department Chief Mike Koval was reprimanded but will not face any disciplinary actions after calling the grandmother of Tony Robinson—a teen fatally shot by an officer in 2015—a “raging lunatic,” according to a decision reached Tuesday by the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners.

The decision came after Sharon Irwin, Robinson’s grandmother, and Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores, a friend of Irwin’s, asked PFC to suspend Koval. The two complained, in addition to the name-calling incident, that Koval had made a “threatening” gesture by subsequently reaching for his sidearm. They also cited an incident when they said Koval had pounded his fist on a desk in a June city council meeting.

Koval’s lawyer, Lester Pines, told The Daily Cardinal he was pleased with the PCF’s decision due to the fact that the complaint was dismissed in its entirety.

“[Koval] said something he felt bad about, and apologized publicly for it,” Pines said.

Pines explained that following the filing of the complaint and in advance of the hearing, Koval offered to meet with the two complainants for a “restorative justice effort.” The complainants denied Koval’s offer and issued a public evidentiary hearing.

Koval issued a statement the same day the PFC reached its decision.

“I do regret my momentary lapse of self-discipline in not speaking to a citizen in a respectful way,” Koval said. “I accepted responsibility for my actions then, and now, and an apology was already extended to the petitioner(s) last year. As your chief, I remain completely committed to leading one of the best police departments in the country, to the best of my abilities.”

Irwin told the Cardinal it would have made a difference if Koval had apologized earlier, but questions his motives in doing so now.

“This wouldn’t have gone as far as it’s gone,” said Irwin. “I believe Chief Koval is not sorry because he said it, but sorry because he doesn’t want the consequences.” 

The two other complaints against Koval filed by Irwin and Kilfoy-Flores in 2016 were dismissed.

PFC said this incident did not warrant them to issue any further implications.

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