Council considers FPC nominations as tie vote for chief looms

Milwaukee’s Fire and Police Commission could have new leadership and a new commissioner pending the approval of the Common Council Tuesday.

Meantime, the nominees for vacancies answered questions Monday on why they are right for the job.

The FPC has tied twice on who they want to see as the next police chief for the City of Milwaukee.

On Monday, we heard from the potential new leadership and the woman who might cast a tie-breaking vote in January.

Pending the approval of the Common Council, there will be some new faces to the Fire and Police Commission.

Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (FPC) and Milwaukee Police Department (MPD)

“It is my hope in the future we can avoid mistakes as you mentioned,” Leon Todd said.

The mayor has nominated Leon Todd as the new executive director of the FPC, replacing Griselda Aldrete who departed in November. Todd says he is in favor of expanding the commission to its full capacity allowed by the state.

“My legal experience will be helpful but I will not be an attorney for the FPC,” said Todd.

Looming over the FPC is the lawsuit filed by former Police Chief Alfonso Morales. The city has admitted in legal filings he was denied due process by the FPC when he was demoted in August.

Ann Wilson

“I don’t know what I can say, the city attorney was in the room,” Ann Wilson said.

Wilson is seeking reinstatement as a commissioner. She was questioned on the Morales demotion during the public safety and health committee. She insisted the FPC was given legal guidance by the city prior to the demotion.

 “Ultimately it’s your decision,” Wilson said.

Her questioning was paused for closed-session at the advice of the city’s legal team. A judge will rule on the Morales case in March while the search for the next police chief continues.

The acting chief will retire before Christmas. The FPC has voted and tied twice on two candidates for the job. It is between Malik Aziz and Hoyt Mahaley. Aziz is also a finalist for a police chief job in Dallas.

Amanda Avalos

“As a young queer Latina, that is something i will be bringing to the board is that diversity,” Amanda Avalos said.

The tie-breaking vote could come from community organizer Amanda Avalos, also nominated by the mayor. 

“There’s a difference between activism and policy,” Avalos said.

Some found her youth and recent stances to defund the police troubling while others are swayed by bringing on a younger member.

She insists all her decisions would be well informed.

“Commitment to wanting to see the entire city thrive,” Avalos said.

Wilson’s reinstatement has yet to be rescheduled, but the mayor’s nominations passed the committee vote, now their appointments will be up for a full vote tomorrow by the common council.

The FPC is set to vote on a police chief again on Jan. 7.