Madison Police officer charged with OWI with child in car 

MADISON (WKOW) — A Madison Police officer has been charged with first offense drunken driving, with a child under the age of sixteen in her car, but remains on the job, and on patrol.A criminal complaint against 41-year old Kelly Hoeft states her blood alcohol level after her arrest June 1 was .27, more than three times Wisconsin’s legal limit for drinking and driving.First offense drunken driving is a non-criminal offense, equivalent to a traffic ticket.  But first offense operating while intoxicated (OWI) is a misdemeanor crime if a child under the age of 16 is a passenger.  Court records state Hoeft’s passenger in a mini-van was five years old.The complaint also states Hoeft’s driving was erratic, according to a witness who called 911.”The caller reported that a vehicle had just plowed through the intersection of McKenna Blvd and Raymond Road and had taken out a couple of road signs in the median,” according to the complaint.The complaint states Hoeft refused to take a field sobriety test, but told responding officers about her consumption of alcohol.  ” ‘I’ve definitely been drinking’,” the court record quotes Hoeft as telling investigators.Hoeft refused to come to the door when a 27 News reporter went to her Madison home, seeking comment on the case.  Hoeft’s attorney, Sarvan Singh, also has yet to return a call from 27 News seeking comment.Until recently, Hoeft was assigned to a special police unit, with the responsibility for making safety presentations to fourth and fifth grade children.Police Chief Koval said Hoeft has been removed from that duty, but remains on the job, and on patrol, behind the wheel of police vehicles.  Koval notes Hoeft remains legally able to drive with an occupational driver’s license as her criminal case is pending.  Koval also said there’s no work leave for Hoeft.  “An officer’s employment status while a case progresses is made on a case-by-case basis,” Koval states.Hoeft was not booked into the Dane County jail at the time of her arrest.  Arrests for first offense OWI do not require booking, with those arrested able to be released to a responsible party.  But Hoeft’s arrest was for a crime, as a result of the child’s presence as a passenger.”There was nothing done in this case that would occasion the suggestion of preferential treatment,”  Koval states. Available, online court records indicate Hoeft has no, previous criminal history.There’s no information available yet as to how long Hoeft has been a Madison Police officer.Koval said an investigation into whether the off-duty officer violated any employment rules or policies will take place after the criminal case is completed.  Hoeft’s next court date is next month.Here is Chief Koval’s statement: “On 6/1/17, MPD officers, as well as a street supervisor (sergeant) responded to a traffic complaint regarding a hit-and-run vehicle which had struck some road signs and was driving erratically.  Subsequent investigation led officers to the offending vehicle and driver, who was then placed under arrest for operating while impaired (first offense with a passenger under 16 years of age), operating with a prohibited alcohol content, and hit-and-run.  The driver is a current Madison Police Officer (Kelly Hoeft) awaiting final adjudication of the charges that have been filed.Once MPD learned of the arrest of Hoeft, the information was turned over immediately to MPD’s Professional Standards and Internal Affairs Unit to conduct an internal investigation.   That investigation has continued and is awaiting resolution of the criminal case before actively proceeding.  A determination was also made that Officer Hoeft would not remain in her assignment (Safety Education), and that she would be reassigned to Patrol, provided that she was able to obtain an occupational driver’s license (which she did obtain).Madison Police Department Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) dictate that in cases of officer involvement in felonies or serious misconduct, the Chief, the PSIA Lieutenant, and the officer’s Commanding Officer must be provided a timely notification.  This occurred in the immediate case.  One must also remember that fundamental due process also applies to off-duty police officers; one cannot/should not be “sanctioned” unless/until a court decision would warrant such a step.  An officer’s employment status while a case progresses is made on a case-by-case basis, taking a broad view of the circumstances.As Chief, I must be concerned with ensuring the public’s confidence that those who are entrusted to serving our community understand that there is an expectation of being held to a higher standard.  When an officer makes a bad decision off-duty, it reflects poorly on all of us.  I have spoken with this officer and I know how she deeply regrets what this incident has meant to both her personal reputation as well as tha

Source: Madison Police officer charged with OWI with child in car – WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

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