MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee city attorneys have concluded that former Police Chief Alfonso Morales was not given due process on his demotion last summer and asked the Milwaukee County Court to hear Morales’ petition to bring the case to the full Fire and Police Commission to hear back.
The commission unanimously voted to demote Morales to captain in August amid ongoing tensions between the regulator and the chief of police and allegations made by some FPC members that Morales lied to them.
Morales’ attorneys have since filed a legal brief demanding that Morales be reinstated as boss on the grounds that the boss had not been treated properly. Morales’ attorneys went on to say that the FPC has the right to make guidelines under the law but not the right to impose discipline, such as the downgrading of the boss.
On Monday, Assistant District Attorney William G. Davidson announced that he agrees that Morales deserves a fair hearing in front of the FPC, citing Wisconsin law that any disciplined police officer has the right to request a review of administrative decisions.
While Davidson says that Morales relies on “outside evidence” to argue for a review, Davidson admits that “one of his arguments overwhelms the other.”
“Mostly, Morales complains that he was denied due process … The city agrees that Morales, like any disciplined officer or member of the police force, is entitled to a judicial process,” writes the city’s assistant attorney.
Davidson argues that it is necessary to recall his demotion to FPC for a full hearing as Morales has apparently been denied his due process.
“In conducting a review of the Certiorari Common Law, after finding that Morales has been denied due process – a fact the parties do not deny – it must refer the matter back to the Board of Directors to ensure that Morales has a full hearing received. ” according to Davidson.
Regarding “third party evidence,” however, Davidson notes that Morales has asked the Milwaukee County Court to judge one of three third-party exhibits he filed in support of his petition. This evidence was not included in the official Morales evidence filed by the FPC in Milwaukee County Court. Davidson cites the Wisconsin law that requires the commission to “provide a certificate to the clerk. . . all charges, testimonies, and anything related to trial and dismissal, suspension, or downgrading of the member. “
“Morales’ attempt to add to the minutes before this court is inappropriate and must be rejected. His efforts not only violate the simple language of the law and at least one generally accepted rule of legal construction, but also undermine the very purpose of a review.” , Writes Davidson.
Morales is also seeking $ 625,000 in damages.
Morales was appointed chief of police in 2019 and held this position until August 6, 2020. Originally, a four-year term as police chief was planned.
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