CHAMPAIGN — The officer whose gun discharged, resulting in the accidental shooting death of an unarmed Champaign teen in 2009, received his final employment payments this year.
The city has paid $423,697 to former Officer Daniel Norbits since Oct. 9, 2009, the day his gun accidentally discharged, resulting in the death of 15-year-old Kiwane Carrington. The information was released to The News-Gazette after the newspaper filed a request for the records under the Freedom of Information Act.
Norbits' final payments came this year, when the city paid him a worker's compensation settlement of $132,944. He also received his final separation payment: $34,111 for vacation, personal, comp and sick leave he had accumulated during the time he was employed with the Champaign Police Department.
That brought the 2014 total to $167,055 — the most of any year since the shooting.
All of the compensation he received since the shooting was payment to which he was legally entitled under either disability and worker's compensation laws or through the police union labor contract, City Manager Dorothy David said Wednesday.
Norbits has spent the past five years mostly away from the Champaign Police Department, but he continued receiving payment during that time. He was placed on administrative leave immediately following the shooting, but later returned to work and was assigned to off-street, administrative duties.
According to city documents, he was placed on duty injury leave in May 2010 — at the time, then-City Manager Steve Carter cited "stress-related" issues as the reason. In May 2011, he began receiving worker's compensation, and that continued until Norbits was approved to receive a disability pension in November 2013.
In the months after the shooting, Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said she would not file criminal charges based on an Illinois State Police investigation that determined the shooting was an accident.
An independent review by a former Urbana police chief and a retired McLean County judge also concluded the shooting was an accident, but said Norbits mishandled his gun.
Carter announced he would be suspended for 30 days, the maximum the city could impose under its contract with the police union. Norbits never actually served that suspension because he never returned to work, David said.
Norbits is no longer employed by the city, she said.