Bus supervisor reinstated after being fired for helping woman

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Transport Service, Inc. (MTS) has reinstated William Bierman -- the bus supervisor who was fired back in October for stepping in to break up a domestic argument on the street.

MTS met with Bierman on Monday, January 13th at the request of Milwaukee County.  As a result of the meeting, MTS reinstated Bierman, with back wages, to his former Route Supervision position.

Bierman's attorney, Janet Heins says on Monday morning, she managed to make a breakthrough.

"It's the right thing to do. They should have done this from the beginning," Heins said.

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan issued the following statement after Bierman was reinstated: "William H. Bierman, Jr. shouldn’t have been fired in the first place, and he has now been reinstated to his position as a Milwaukee County Transit System supervisor – and with three months’ back pay!

I am truly elated at this news and would like to thank Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, County Supervisor Steve F. Taylor and County Executive Chris Abele for joining me in standing in support of Mr. Bierman. I firmly believe that public officials have a duty to point out injustices and to at least attempt to right wrongs whenever possible, and I think our speaking out publicly in support of Mr. Bierman kept the lights on late at the transit system and ultimately helped get him reinstated.

I just hope the word spreads to our children and our young people that doing the right thing – just as Mr. Bierman did – is always the way to go and should never result in a person being fired."

The bus company claims Bierman violated policy back in October when he stepped in to help save a woman he said was being victimized by her boyfriend.

The man Bierman scuffled with is Ruben Alcantar, who claims he and his girlfriend were simply having a verbal argument while walking down the street. Alcantar says he filed a complaint with the Transit System after Bierman caused enough damage to send him to the hospital. Alcantar also admits to pushing Bierman in the chest as he rushed toward him.

"I'm not going to watch someone get beat up. If I didn't do anything, that was a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. Thankfully the people of the County and some of the aldermen and Sheriff and of course the comments and very public disapproval of (the bus company's) actions really helped push them over the edge. I know they were influencing my return and I'm very grateful to those gentlemen," Bierman said.

Bierman's attorney says it was at the request of Milwaukee County that reinstatement was even discussed.

"They very specifically told us at this meeting that it was only because the County had pressured them to take him back that they were willing to do that. They still believe apparently they did the right thing," Heins said.

In a statement, MTS says it now has reinstated Mr. Bierman with back wages to his former Route Supervisor position, and discussed with Mr. Bierman its expectations and Mr. Bierman has agreed to abide by MTS' policies and work rules.

"I'm feeling pretty good. I'm going to take it day-by-day. Go back to work, do my job the best I can and be the best worker I can be," Bierman said.

FOX6 News asked Bierman if he would ever step in again if he witnessed something like what he says he witnessed -- and he said "yes," saying "if you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem."

Bierman's first day back on the job will be Monday, January 20th.