Common Council members ask city attorney for options if FPC can't decide on police chief

NOW: Common Council members ask city attorney for options if FPC can’t decide on police chief

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Seven members of Milwaukee's Common Council sent a letter to the city attorney asking what options are available if the Fire and Police Commission remains deadlocked on a chief candidate after next week's meeting. 

The Fire and Police Commission split the vote 3-3 Thursday night on the candidates. Three commissioners voted for Hoyt Mahaley, three others voted for Malik Aziz. 

The letter to City Attorney Tearman Spencer said in part, “Last evening, the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners deadlocked on the matter of selecting the next chief of police. Several votes were taken and the two sides of the matter seemed to hold their views firmly. It is true that the item was held until the next meeting. It is also true that a new member has been nominated to the Board by the Mayor who could, possibly, be a deciding vote. We do not, however, think it likely that those who voted yesterday with such commitment are likely to change their minds in just a few weeks. We also do not think it fair to place on the shoulders of a new member of a body of this consequence the burden of voting at the end of a process in which she has played no part.”

It goes on to ask what options the Common Council and the mayor might have to move the process forward, if the Fire and Police Commission remains deadlocked. 

"The Milwaukee Police Department needs strong, progressive leadership and it needs it sooner rather than later," the letter says. 

The Fire and Police Commission is scheduled to meet again on Dec. 10. 

"I figured by now they would have had a choice and they would have had a favorite of who they were going to pick," said Dale Bormann, Jr., president of the Milwaukee Police Association. 

The delay comes as Acting Chief Michael Brunson is set to retire at the end of the month. 

"I think the delay kind of hurts not only the officers, city of Milwaukee, but it also hurts the chief too, " said Bormann, "That’s one additional week the new chief doesn’t have with him to transition into the job."

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