UPDATED 12:10 PM PT – Sunday, December 20, 2020
A Wisconsin judge reversed the decision to fire ousted Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales.
In a seven-page ruling on Friday, Judge Christopher Foley said the move by the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission was flawed.
Back in August, the Commission unanimously voted to demote Morales to Captain after he failed to follow 11 issued directives, which called for records regarding high profile police incidents.
Morales retired on his own and then sued the city for more than $600,000 in damages. He also requested a judicial review. Foley said the Commission failed to give Morales his due process, which is required when ousting the city’s top cop.
Morales’s lawyer, Frank Gimbel, stated the ruling was a clear win for his client.
“He has been vindicated,” Gimbel said. “The decision of the court demonstrates that there was no basis for the Fire and Police Commission to take the action that they did, in the manner that they did.”
This decision came days after the Commission selected a new Acting Chief to replace Morales. Judge Foley did not give specific instructions on what the next move should be.
In the meantime, Gimbel said the decision is up to Morales.
“As of Monday of next week, he may be polishing his uniform buttons and go back to the police station,” Gimbel noted. “And whoever else is sitting in that chair for the moment is going to have to find an alternative chair to sit in or there will be a discussion about some kind of financial resolution.”
The Commission did not release an official statement on the ruling, but the chairman said he believes the city will come to a settlement agreement with Morales.
Should the Commission choose to demote him again, they must restart their entire process.