Former MPD chief was denied due process, attorney says

Frank Gimbel, the attorney representing former Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales, is speaking out after new documents were filed Wednesday alleging that Morales never received due process.

The law is on Morales' side, Gimbel said, and it was ignored the night he was demoted by the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (FPC) from chief to captain.

"The behavior of the Fire and Police Commission was an abomination in terms of respect for the rule of law," Gimbel said. "They ignored the rule of law and they know it."

Gimbel said Morales is yet to receive any statement from the FPC on why he was demoted. He said no witnesses or evidence were presented.

"We did not see the outgrowth of their decision in the form of findings of fact and conclusions leading to support their decision of Chief Morales. All those things are called for by state statute," said Gimbel.

Attorney Frank Gimbel, Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales

The FPC previously said Morales would have a review every six months of his term, but Gimbel said it was never actually written into his contract.

"You can't treat a person with whom you have a written contract the way you did Alfonso Morales, because that was wrong," Gimbel said.

The FPC voted to demote Morales after it said the former chief failed to comply with a lengthy list of directives.

"I pretty much stand by the comments I made the night we demoted him. I stand by those and the truth will come out, and we will let the chips fall where they may," said Raymond Robakowski, an FPC board member.

Robakowski told FOX6 News that the "truth will come out" more than once. His statement came immediately after the release of an independent investigation of Morales' decision, as chief, to remove seven civilian employees.

The FPC called for that investigation, it was also listed as one of the directives that ultimately led the commission to demote Morales. Investigators found that the decision to remove those seven employees was not justified.

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

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

Gimbel has filed a legal briefing as part of a petition for a judge to review the FPC's Aug. 6 actions. He argues that Morales should get his job back because he never received due process. They are also suing the City of Milwaukee for damages and breach of contract.

Now that a briefing has been field, the city has 30 days to respond -- and could agree or disagree with the filing -- but a judge will most likely have a written decision on the case by March 2021.

In the meantime, the FPC is set to narrow down its search for a permanent police chief on Thursday night, Oct. 15.

FOX6 News asked the Milwaukee city attorney, Tearman Spencer, if it is legal for the FPC to hire a new police chief in light of the allegations regarding Morales. He said: "It is not a question of legality, but if there are unresolved issues surrounding the allegations, then hiring a new police chief would not be prudent until the issues have been resolved."

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The FPC previously told FOX6 News that they would be consulting with the city attorney on the matter and let the process play out in court.

FOX6 News reached out to the mayor's office multiple times on Thursday regarding the issue and did not get a response.

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Attorney Frank Gimbel said the FPC board's decision "cannot stand" and Morales should "be reinstated to his position as chief" retroactive to Aug. 6.

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