Nelson Soler steps down as chair of Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission

NOW: Nelson Soler steps down as chair of Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission

Updated:07/02/2021 04:51 PM

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Nelson Soler abruptly and unexpectedly resigned from his position as chair of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (FPC), just a week before his term with the group was set to expire.

"After a lot of evaluation and introspection, I have decided that today is my last day on this board," Soler told the commission during its meeting on Thursday, July 1.

On Friday morning, Soler shared more thoughts on a Facebook post.

"I feel renewed after quitting serving in one of the most toxic environments I have served," Soler wrote. "Organizations do not thrive when leadership fosters favoritism and retaliate when individuals disagree just to advance individual political agendas."

Soler took over as FPC chair in August of 2020 when police reform was on the forefront of the national, state and local conversation. Soler oversaw efforts to reform MPD as well as the demotion of former police chief Alfonso Morales.

Activists on Friday welcomed the news of Soler's departure.

"Now we need to see who will become the next chair and what direction the FPC will go with these new additions and with the new chair," activist Vaun Mayes said during a news conference at City Hall. "To me, that's maybe putting us in a step forward as well."

Soler's departure comes as the FPC continues in the spotlight with a search for a new police chief and a July 12 deadline for the city to settle with Morales or reinstate him as the city's top cop.

The latter is an option activists like Mayes want to avoid at all costs, because they criticize Morales' leadership during his time in power and say his relationship with the city is beyond repair.

"It should be clear that whatever the cost is to rid us of this chapter of policing in Milwaukee, pay it," Mayes said. "Or it will cost us more later in lawsuits and damages."

FPC Vice Chair Angela McKinzie takes over the leadership role for the commission before three new commissioners are set to be approved by the Common Council later this month.

Published: 07/02/2021 09:31 AM

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission (FPC) is now looking for a new chairperson. 

Chairman Nelson Soler resigned from the commission during a virtual meeting on Thursday, July 1.

"So after a lol of reflection, I have decided today is my last day on this board," Soler said. "This implies Vice Chair Angela becomes the chair until a chair is elected or another date is setup by administration as to when her term expires, so the baton is yours. You can call the last motion of the evening. Good night."

Soler's resignation comes as the FPC is working on approving three new members. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett selected them and the city's Common Council could approve them as early as next week. 

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

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