Madison Mayor Soglin: Statement on Matt Kenny, Tony Robinson estate case

Contact: Katie Crawley, 608-266-4611

The City’s insurance carrier, WMMIC, and the plaintiff settled the case and neither our office nor the City Attorney were involved in the settlement. Let me be clear in asserting that the City of Madison, who was not a party to the case, had no standing and no ability to influence the court or the parties in approving a settlement. Any statement to the contrary is false.

Officer Kenny was forced to make immediate decisions in dangerous circumstances which led to tragic consequences. I have serious questions about some of the rulings by the Court in the last week which may have improperly affected the officer’s ability to defend his actions. Again, the City of Madison, having been dismissed from the case, has no standing, no say in the matter.

I understand there was tremendous pressure on the remaining parties to the lawsuit to settle the case, rather than have this matter continue with no end in sight. I do not suggest that we forget this event but I do recommend that we learn from the settlement and move forward to build a stronger, better community.

Unfortunately, the way the case was concluded leaves the public and all local governments still struggling to understand how police officers are to proceed in dangerous situations when confronted by individuals who are impaired by substance abuse or mental health issues. We know that more officer training will help.

We know that the City of Madison, its police department, and its residents will continue to find solutions. Tragically, as long as mental illness goes untreated, as long as substance abuse is ignored, these tragedies will continue to confront us.

I will not have any further statements on the case. If there are questions of a legal nature, please contact City Attorney Michael May.

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