Milwaukee inspector general speaks to council committee regarding report on Morales' demotion

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's inspector general went before a common council committee for the first time regarding an investigation she conducted into the demotion of former chief Alfonso Morales by the Fire and Police Commission. 

"There are conflicting reports surrounding the FPC’s decision," she told the Steering and Rules Committee as part of her presentation Monday. 

The conflict surrounds what advice the Fire and Police Commission received from the City Attorney's Office. 

Inspector General Ronda Kohleim says fire and police commissioners have said, "Opinions provided by the city attorney were inconsistent and conflicting," while the City Attorney's Office has said, "Opinions were consistent and provided on numerous occasions."

The inspector general's report found the Fire and Police Commission failed to follow its own rules and the written opinions provided by the City Attorney's Office. The report also states that testimony suggests on at least two occasions, the board's decision to demote the chief was based on an apparent assertion by the city attorney "to do what needs to be done."

The inspector general's report says she interviewed two people as part of the investigation, but she was unable to reach five people because they did not respond to interview requests. 

"So the commissioners chose not to be interviewed by you for this presentation?" Kohleim was asked by Alderman Mike Murphy. She responded with, "Correct."

"I reached out to the city attorney on more than one occasion and did not receive a response," Kohleim also said. 

CBS 58 reached out to Fire and Police Commission Chairman Nelson Soler, who said, "I did not decline the interview and I am disappointed with the report as it failed to include the full involvement of the City Attorney's Office in the process."

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