Jeramey Jannene

Mensah Will Get $125,000 from Wauwatosa

Police officer gets his full salary, plus other payouts, through end of 2021. Hasn't worked since July.

By - Nov 18th, 2020 03:48 pm
Joseph Mensah. Photo from gofundme.

Joseph Mensah. Photo from gofundme.

Officer Joseph Mensah‘s resignation from the Wauwatosa Police Department comes at a price of over $125,000. The officer will receive his full base salary, $79,889, through the end of 2021. He’ll also receive a $15,000 one-time settlement payment, over $10,000 in benefit payouts and almost $20,000 in deferred compensation.

The controversial cop killed three people over five years in the line of duty: Antonio Gonzales in 2015, Jay Anderson, Jr. in 2016 and Alvin Cole in February. In each incident, the District Attorney’s office investigated the shooting and ruled it justified self-defense. The most recent decision came in October, which set off days of protest in Wauwatosa.

An agreement approved by the Wauwatosa Common Council Tuesday and released Wednesday will have Mensah paid for the next 13 months. Mensah’s resignation becomes effective on November 30th.

Mensah will also receive payments for his unused vacation time ($3,687.22), 2021 vacation ($4,244.94), overtime ($2,421.66) and professional leave ($322.62). He’ll also receive a payment for longevity, part of the collective bargaining agreement, through the date of his resignation.

On December 17th Mensah will receive a one-time $15,000 settlement payment. The city will also make a payment of $19,500 to Mensah’s 457(b) deferred compensation plan by November 30th.

The city will deduct the cost of its share of a COBRA health plan for Mensah from the payments made to the officer through the end of 2021. Mensah could elect to continue to pay for the plan on his own in 2022.

Mensah has been suspended with pay since July 2020, a decision which he is fighting in court. As part of the settlement he must drop the case. A crowdfunding campaign, with donations from multiple public safety unions, raised over $78,000 for a legal defense fund for the officer.

The Wauwatosa Police & Fire Commission must also agree to drop Mensah’s suspension as part of the case. The city must provide a neutral reference on any future employment inquiries for Mensah. Chief Barry Weber can provide his own recommendation without limitation.

Before District Attorney John Chisholm‘s decision came in, a third-party investigator recommended Mensah be terminated. The report, authored by former U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic, says Mensah made inconsistent and misleading statements to the media and could use deadly force a fourth time. Mensah poses “unnecessary risk to the Wauwatosa Police Department and the City of Wauwatosa,” Biskupic warned.

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Categories: Politics

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