FPC votes to demote Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales to captain

NOW: FPC votes to demote Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales to captain

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission voted to demote Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales Thursday night, Aug. 6.

The commissioners unanimously voted to demote Morales to captain, and to have Assistant Chief Michael Brunson serve as acting chief.

The vote comes after an attorney for Morales called on the commission to delay the decision.

Two weeks ago, the FPC presented Chief Morales with 11 directives to follow at risk of discipline.

On Wednesday, Aug. 5, MPD issued a report on various issues they have with the directives, including concerns that following them could result in lawsuits against the city.

"The Chief intends to review his options following the FPC decision tonight after consulting with his family and lawyers - but he will work with the newly named Chief to make the people of Milwaukee well served," said Attorney Frank Gimbel who has been representing Morales. 

Morales was not there in person when the commissioners made the decision Thursday night. He attended by video. 

The commissioners had met in executive session and then made this decision to demote the chief in an open meeting that was virtual.

There was not a ton of discussion from the commission before the vote to demote Morales was made. 

Some commissioners, when given the chance, did not comment before voting. 

Those that did, expressed disappointment in the way he had performed his job.

"You have such a wonderful story and all the other things and to just not do what you said you wanted to do just really makes me said," said Commissioner Ann Wilson.

"It should be no surprise the fact that we have issued directives. It should be no surprise to the fact that I personally don’t feel that you have worked with us as the oversight board," said Commissioner Nelson Soler, who was voted as the new chair of the commission Thursday. 

"As a new commissioner, if I had known back in December of 2019 what I know now, I would have never seconded the meeting for his reappointment to be taken up, and I would have never cast my vote in support," said Commissioner Ray Robakowski, who accused Morales of lying to the commission and the public.  

Following the meeting, when the online broadcast had stopped, the commissioners were still behind closed doors that the media was not allowed to go through, until reporters told officers outside the meeting room there were concerns about open meeting law violations. Officers went and informed the commissioners, the media was then allowed and commissioners came out of the meeting room. 

Once they came out, many of the commissioners did not want to answer questions. Neither did Executive Director Griselda Aldrete, who was escorted by two officers. 

City Attorney Tearman Spencer was also at the meeting Thursday night. He was asked about what the city would do about a potential lawsuit. 

"Well, the City's going to do what the City has to do and whatever happens we'll respond to that," he said. 

He was also asked if the directives given to the chief were legal, and he did not answer, saying to reach out to his office. We did reach out earlier Thursday and have not received a response.

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