Police chief asks commission to fire Heimsness

Wray files 58-page complaint against controversial officer
Police chief asks commission to fire Heimsness
Officer Stephen Heimsness

The Madison police chief is seeking to fire an officer involved in the controversial shooting death of a Madison man last year, though not for that reason, the chief said.

Madison Chief of Police Noble Wray filed a complaint Friday before the city Police and Fire Commission for a “separation of service” between the department and Officer Stephen Heimsness.

However, in a statement, Wray wrote that the complaint doesn’t pertain to the officer-involved shooting that left Paul Heenan dead on Nov. 9 that’s caused much controversy.

“Nothing contained within the filing changes my conclusions regarding the officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of Paul Heenan,” the chief wrote.

Reports have said Heenan, 30, was not armed when he mistakenly entered the wrong house two doors down from his own late that evening. Police responded to a report of a burglary at the Baldwin Street address and Heenan was shot outside the home.

Heimsness was cleared of wrong-doing by authorities after internal reviews, police had said.

Wray said in the statement Friday that the complaint “pertains to matters separate from the officer involved shooting.”

Attorney Scott Herrick with the Police and Fire Commission declined to comment on the chief’s complaint, citing in an email that the matter is pending.

He did note that Wray’s complaint was a sizable document at 58 pages but did not provide details about the nature of the complaint.

Heenan’s Baldwin Street roommates Nate and Amelia Royko Maurer have been working for answers in the Heenan case since the November death of their friend and housemate.

The Royko-Maurers collected signatures for Heimsness’ removal from the force in May and most recently filed their own formal complaint against the officer with the Police and Fire Commission on Friday.

On Saturday morning, Nate Royko Maurer told News 3 the news that the chief wants Heimsness removed isn’t totally satisifying, saying he’d hoped police would acknowledge something went wrong in the Nov. 9 incident that left his friend dead.