'A royal screwup:' Aldermen blast Fire & Police Commission before approving settlement with former police chief

’A royal screwup: ’ Aldermen blast Fire & Police Commission before approving settlement with former police chief

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The city is one step closer to settling a lawsuit with former Milwaukee police chief Alfonso Morales after a council committee approved a settlement Monday.

After months of back and forth, the city and former Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales came to an agreement. The city will pay Morales a lump sum of $627,000 plus $1,575 toward mediation costs. In exchange, Morales will drop his state and federal cases. The city and Fire and Police Commission do not admit fault as part of the agreement.

Members of the city's Judiciary and Legislation Committee blasted the Fire and Police Commission for putting the city in this position.

"They [the FPC] violated his due process rights, you had two attorneys who served on the board who should have known at least a little bit about due process," said Ald. Michael Murphy.

Now it's taxpayers who will foot the bill.

"This is not fair to taxpayers," Ald. Murphy said. "This is unfortunate. It's totally avoidable. It's poor management and I'm angry about it."

"I put it more bluntly as a royal screwup," added Ald. Scott Spiker.

Ald. Bob Bauman made it clear he still thinks there needs to be accountability on the FPC.

"There are three members on the commission who were there during the Morales vote and they should all step down absolutely immediately," Ald. Bauman said.

Ultimately though,  the alderman agree the settlement is the best option at this point. The committee unanimously approved the settlement, sending it to the full council for final approval.

"Reluctantly and with a bitter taste in my mouth I can't shake, I would support this as well," Ald. Spiker said ahead of the vote.

The aldermen said the settlement is important so there can be stability in the police department, which has been without a permanent chief for almost a year. Several council members made it clear they want the job to go to Acting Chief Jeffrey Norman.

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The city is one step closer to settling a lawsuit with former Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales.

The Judiciary and Legislation Committee approved a settlement that will pay Morales 627-thousand dollars plus $1575 toward mediation costs on Monday, July 19.

In exchange, Morales will drop his state and federal suits.

The aldermen unanimously voted in favor of approving the agreement but made it clear they are angry the Fire and Police Commission put them in this position.

"You have really bad choices either way," Alderman Michael Murphy said. "So as citizens and elected officials you have to take the course of settling. But this is not fair to tax payers. This is unfortunate. It's totally avoidable It's poor management and I'm angry about it."

The settlement now moves to the full council for approval.

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