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Chief Morales given list of directives by FPC, failure to comply could result in discipline

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Updated: 7:02 p.m. on July 20, 2020

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales still has his job, for now.

The Fire and Police Commission voted Monday evening to issue 11 directives to Chief Morales.

Failure to comply, could mean his job.

There was some talk leading up to the meeting, that Chief Morales could be fired. That did not happen, but his attorney said it seems like the Fire and Police Commission is setting the table for him to be disciplined.

Before issuing the directives, Executive Director Griselda Aldrete said the FPC "has made a good faith effort to gain information through requests from the chief of his command staff" and that the response has been "unduly delayed or outright ignored."

The FPC issued a list of directives including presenting information on some high-profile cases, the standard operating procedure to protect evidence for sensitive crimes, and ending the use of tear gas. 

The FPC also wants information on the termination of some employees, an update on the department's compliance with the ACLU lawsuit, a community oriented policing plan, a COVID-19 mitigation plan, and details of the promotional process for members of the department. 

The chief also needs to provide information for his six-month review. He and his command staff also need to copy the executive director of the Fire and Police Commission on all communications and provide documents for open records requests from the FPC on investigations. 

"Failure to comply fully and promptly with these directives shall result in disciplinary action by the board, including discharge, suspension or reduction in rank," said FPC Executive Director Griselda Aldrete.

The meeting was held virtually, but Chief Morales and other members of MPD attended in person, as did his attorney.

"I think that this is a very aggressive response by the Fire and Police Commission to a bunch of problems that are visiting their house, and they're distracting from the problems that exist within that commission," said Frank Gimbel, Morales' attorney.

Gimbel said Chief Morales will make every effort that he can to comply with all of the directors that he finds to be legitimate and warranted, after review. 

Gimbel said much of the information requested "has been provided many times and they've been privy to the transactions to which they relate."

Aldrete said "no comment" when asked if the FPC already had some of the documents it was requesting. 

Aldrete initially did not want to comment, but after getting back off the elevator, said "The board has spoken. We just want the Milwaukee Police Department to comply, and hopefully we'll build a better city."

There are tight deadlines set for these directives. Some are supposed to be completed by the end of the month, others early next month.

When asked if this was personal for members of the commission against Chief Morales she said, "Absolutely not, this is part of our oversight capacity. I’m the executive director, my post is nearly ending, and I only hope that our city is in good hands going forward."

Watch the entire meeting here. 

Several Common Council members also released a joint statement Monday night that says in part, "We have no confidence in Chief Morales and it's time for him to go." 

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Posted: 4:45 p.m. on July 20, 2020

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales could be fired as soon as today, Monday, July 20. The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission is set to hold a special meeting Monday night. 

Chief Morales' job is up for review as the city has seen an alarming rise in homicides and an increased call for police reform. 

The Milwaukee Police Association and other supporters are standing by Chief Morales. They held a news conference and asked off-duty officers to be there to show support. Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke was also there.

Union President Dale Bormann Junior said what the Fire and Police Commission is doing to Chief Morales is ridiculous, and called him a great man and leader. He said the chairman of the Fire and Police Commission, Steven DeVougas, needs to step down.

Earlier Monday, the city’s ethics board voted to open an investigation into DeVougas after the Milwaukee Police Association filed a complaint against him.

Last month, an independent investigator found DeVougas violated the city code of ethics when he represented someone who was questioned in a sexual assault case.

"He’s a great man and even better leader in the city. What the FPC is doing to him is ridiculous. It’s uncalled for. It’s time to put away the nonsense that they are doing & get down to business," said Bormann. 

CBS 58 has heard from some organizations who do not want Morales to stay on as chief. One of those organizations is Voces de La Frontera. They released a statement saying in part that he refuses time and time again to show any understanding of meaningful community engagement.

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