MILWAUKEE (AP) – A judge has given his job back to the ousted police chief of Milwaukee, a day after he was removed from the board and elected as the new acting chief.
Judge Christopher Foley on Friday overturned the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission’s August decision to topple Alfonso Morales, the Journal Sentinel reported. Commissioners were criticized for how Morales handled a number of incidents related to black people, including the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown. He was also instrumental to his decision to use tear gas and pepper spray against protesters who demonstrated in the Minneapolis post-May 25 death of George Floyd.
After his death, Morales retired, prosecuted and requested judicial review. Morales asks for $ 625,000 in damages from the city.
It is not clear what happens next. Judge Foley overturned the commission’s decision to make Morel the captain, but did not give further instructions – something he said he could not do.
“I accept that there is great benefit in remand with directions from the city’s point of view,” Foley wrote. He said, “The remand situation continues, as the commission heard the appointment of Mr Moral as captain and dismissed that demotion. This avoids the potential, noted in the media accounts of the ‘two heads'” is.
“But it is a dilemma for the Commission to make its own and ignore the detrimental effect of the fundamentally flawed process on Mr. Moral’s interests as a whole,” Foley said.
Morales’ lawyer Franklin Gimbel told the Journal Sentinel that Morales was “delighted with his victory” and that he would be “the one to pursue the judge’s decision”.
A spokesman for Mayor Tom Barrett said his office was in consultation with the city’s attorney.
Meanwhile, the commission continues to search for a permanent police chief after a deadlock over two external candidates.