FPC offers little explanation in Morales' demotion from chief to captain

NOW: FPC offers little explanation in Morales’ demotion from chief to captain

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Thursday night's decision to demote former police chief Morales raised a lot of questions, which so far, fire and police commissioners have refused to answer.

The vote to demote the chief came after a closed-door meeting with very little public explanation, similar to what happened when the Fire and Police Commission came up with the 11 directives.

Fire and police comissioners refused to answer questions after unanimously voting to demote then-police chief Alfonso Morales to captain.

The decision comes about two weeks after the commission ordered Morales to comply with 11 directives. 

Mayor Barrett says Morales wasn't even given a chance to comply with the directives.

"I think there were legitimate concerns with the police chief. I don't think he was given the opportunity to respond," he said.

Instead, 24 hours before Thursday's meeting, a surprise motion was added to the agenda -- a vote on firing or demoting Morales.

The commission met in closed session before convening in public, where few comments were made before the vote.

Commissioners also refused to answer questions about whether or not the directives are even legal, an issue raised by Morales and his attorney.

The city attorney, also at the meeting, wouldn't comment.

CBS 58 Investigates already had called his office and tried again Friday. We've received no response.

Mayor Barrett called out the lack of transparency by the department and says he is not happy with the process.

"I think that they had to be much more transparent than they were," he said.

The mayor also expressed concern about Commissioner Steven DeVougas after an independent investigation found he likely committed ethics violations.

DeVougas held a press conference before Thursday's meetings, denying any wrongdoing.

"For nine months I've watched the false narrative spin out of control about the motivation of myself," he said.

Activist Vaun Mayes spoke on DeVougas' behalf at that press conference.

Mayes is also the subject of one of the commission's directives, which required the chief to give a public explanation of Mayes' July arrest and release the investigative file, even though the case is still open.

We have repeatedly reached out to Fire and Police Commission Executive Director Griselda Aldrete. 

She did get back to us Friday and said she would do an interview, but never did.

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