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Stephen Heimsness agrees to resign from Madison Police Department
Heimsness will resign from the force effective Nov. 23, 2013.
Heimsness will resign from the force effective Nov. 23, 2013.

The city of Madison has dismissed its complaint against Police Officer Stephen Heimsness after reaching an agreement with him to resign.

The agreement stipulates that Heimsness will not return to duty and will resign from the force effective Nov. 23, 2013. He intends to apply for "duty disability" with the state, but will step down on Nov. 23 regardless of whether he is approved for that status or not.

The agreement states that "Heimsness had admitted to some rule violations, adamantly disputes others and disagrees with Chief Wray's decision to terminate," but nevertheless agrees to resign.

Heimsness has been on paid administrative leave but will begin using sick leave as of Monday, July 1. He will be eligible for his pension upon his resignation from the force.

Heimsness also agreed to surrender any claims or grievances he has against the city.

Heimsness has been a subject of scrutiny since he shot and killed an unarmed Paul Heenan on Nov. 9. Heenan had mistakenly entered a neighbor's home that evening and Heimsness responded to a burglary call. When he arrived at the scene on South Baldwin Street on the near east side, he found Heenan, who was inebriated, and a neighbor struggling on the lawn. He claims Heenan lunged for his gun.

The police department and district attorney's office both ruled the use of force was justified in that case, but the investigation uncovered other troubling behavior. On June 21, Chief Noble Wray filed a complaint with the Police and Fire Commission, seeking to fire Heimsness from the force. Wray alleged 118 violations of 13 different policies. The charges centered on email messages Heimsness allegedly sent to colleagues, threatening violence to co-workers.

The city reserves the right to refile the complaint with the commission if Heimsness fails to resign by Nov. 23.

The agreement also states that other disciplinary charges could be filed against Heimsness by the department. However, City Attorney Michael May says he doesn't believe Wray plans to file any charges.

May would not say how long the negotiations had been going on.

Read the complete memorandum of understanding with Heimsness.

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