Questions raised over handling of investigation into Milwaukee officer charged in death of 25-year-old

NOW: Questions raised over handling of investigation into Milwaukee officer charged in death of 25-year-old

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A Milwaukee police officer faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted for his role in a deadly fight while he was off duty at his home.

Officer Michael Mattioli was charged with reckless homicide Wednesday, May 13. Now, questions are being raised over who should handle the investigation.

Officer Mattioli was immediately suspended while a Milwaukee Police Department investigated the off-duty fight. Now, Milwaukee leaders and members of the Fire and Police Commission (FPC) are questioning why that investigation has taken so long.

"Obviously, we, like everybody else, want this to be handled appropriately, and we're not trying to diminish the gravity of this," said MPD Chief of Staff Nick Desiato.

Desiato spoke to city aldermen an the Fire and Police Commission on how they plan on handling the investigation into Officer Mattioli. 

Homicide charges came down Wednesday for the choking death of 25-year-old Joel Acevedo back in April.

"Residents of the city are looking for transparency," said Desiato.

However, aldermen questioned that. 

"With any sworn appointment, there is a level of expectation on and off duty," said Alderwoman Chantia Lewis.

MPD is currently conducting an internal investigation, but is considering handing it over to the FPC. 

The executive director says they have questions they'd like answered.

"While MPD asserts there were no other police officers there, I think an investigation is warranted on behalf of the oversight body to verify that," said FPC Executive Director Aldrete.

The Milwaukee Police Department says standard operating procedures don't apply to this incident, but aldermen and members of the FPC challenged MPD's code of conduct on and off duty.

"You do know that as police officers and inspectors and chiefs of staff, your code of conduct, and when rules are broken. So for you to say that an outside investigation is going to limit your ability to enforce your own rules...I'm not buying it," said Everett Cocroft, FPC.

Another issue that came up in the meeting was the fact that Officer Mattioli is still getting paid his full salary even though he's been placed on suspension, because they're limited by state law. 

The committee Thursday went into a closed session but decided to hold this item over until they reconvene on it later this month.

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