Common Council committee takes no action on Sterling Brown settlement after meeting Monday

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A Milwaukee Common Council committee decided to not take any action Monday regarding the potential settlement between the city and Bucks guard Sterling Brown.

Earlier this month, City Attorney Tearman Spencer wrote a letter to the Common Council saying in part, "After some discovery, the parties agreed to undertake mediation in an effort to resolve this matter short of trial. On the advice of the mediator and with the risks of trial in mind, the parties engaged in settlement discussions and Plaintiff agreed to settle the entire case for a total of $750,000."

The letter also states the settlement contains an admission of a constitutional violation and a commitment to incorporate changes to Milwaukee Police Department operating procedures. 

The letter asked that a resolution be introduced and referred to the Judiciary and Legislation Committee. 

The committee met Monday, Nov. 16 and went into closed session for more than an hour to discuss a couple topics, including the Sterling Brown settlement. After coming out of closed session, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton said they would not be taking any action on it Monday. 

“After discussing this in closed session, there are a number of items that are still being worked on by the city attorney and MPD through the mediation process. We’re going to allow for that process to continue, so at this time we will not action on this,” said Alderman Ashanti Hamilton.

Hamilton said they will hold the item for a later date. 

Over the weekend, the Milwaukee Police Association and Milwaukee Police Supervisors Organization wrote a letter to City Attorney Spencer saying “you have failed to satisfy your responsibilities to competently and ethically represent our members in this lawsuit.” The letter stated he did not discuss any potential settlement with their members and they found out about the potential settlement from the news.

“It is very clear that there is a conflict of interest for you or, at this point, any other lawyer in your office to represent our members while also representing the balance of the defendants. It is also a very clear dereliction of your duty to fail to keep our members informed of the settlement discussions.”

The letter goes on to say they are demanding outside council of their choosing to be provided to their members at the expense of the city of Milwaukee and that while the matter is being resolved, they expect any pending settlement offer to not be voted upon by the Common Council.

CBS 58 reached out to the city attorney’s office about the letter via phone and email, but has not yet heard back.

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