Meeting between Morales' attorney, city of Milwaukee ends without resolution

NOW: Meeting between Morales’ attorney, city of Milwaukee ends without resolution

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The search for a new Milwaukee police chief has grown more difficult. A judge reversed former Chief Alfonso Morales' demotion from the job Friday, Dec. 18. A second interim chief is set to take charge Wednesday, Dec. 23.

The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission has deadlocked twice on its pick for a new police chief.

Morales' attorney Frank Gimbel met with a deputy city attorney Monday for a half hour. He said he doesn't see any clear decision in reach at this point.

"I was not optimistic based on our meeting today that there is going to be a quick resolution to this matter," said Morales' attorney, Frank Gimbel.

A Milwaukee County judge dropped the hammer on Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission Friday. The judge reversed Chief Morales' demotion.

"It is clear this entire process was flawed," wrote Circuit Court Judge Christopher Foley.

"Alfonso Morales is the chief of police now and should have been since August 6," said Gimbel.

Fourth District Alderman Robert Bauman wants the entire Fire and Police Commission to step down.

"That kangaroo court they had back in August was blatantly illegal, they should have known it, somebody should have known it at the time," said Bauman.

He said its actions have put the city in a difficult spot.

"We either pay [Morales] to go away or we allow him to be reinstated as chief," said Bauman.

Common Council President Cavalier Johnson wants a new chief without straining taxpayers.

"I would like to have a permanent police chief who is there, who can be consistent and give the department some direction that they know is going to be there for some time," said Johnson.

Johnson said Assistant Chief Jeffrey Norman would be good as the permanent replacement. But Gimbel said the city doesn't seem to know what it wants.

"I think there are a lot of voices at city hall and they're not singing the same tune," said Gimbel.

Morales' contract is good until 2024.

Gimbel said if the city doesn't honor it, he'll likely be back in court.

Mayor Tom Barrett released the following statement:

"In consultation with the City Attorney’s Office, we understand the circuit court’s recent ruling reinstated Alfonso Morales to his former rank as Chief of Police. Chief Morales voluntarily retired from service on August 8, 2020. It is the City Attorney’s position that he is no longer a retired Captain; rather, he is a retired Chief of Police."
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