FPC must re-appoint Alfonso Morales as police chief after open meetings law violation

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission will have to re-appoint Alfonso Morales as Milwaukee police chief.

The City Attorney's Office found the commission violated open meetings law by not giving proper notice that the issue would be heard during its meeting on April 5.

Alderman Terry Witkowski is accusing the commission of making the same mistake by scheduling the re-do of the Morales confirmation for Thursday, April 19.

Below is a statement from Alderman Witkowski:

"The Fire and Police Commission must re-do its action to appoint interim Police Chief Alfonso Morales to serve out the remaining term of former Chief Edward Flynn.

The City Attorney’s Office has determined that the commission violated open meetings law by not giving proper notice that the item would be heard during its April 5 meeting, leading to a second rushed attempt at making the appointment Thursday.

Alderman Witkowski, vice chair of the Public Safety and Health Committee, said he is not pleased with how the Fire and Police Commission is handling the do-over of the Morales appointment confirmation, scheduled for Thursday, April 19 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

“I’m frankly incensed that they are handling such an important appointment so poorly—and for the second time.” Alderman Witkowski said.

In the agenda for Thursday's  Fire and Police Commission meeting, the confirmation of Chief Morales is listed as item G under “Unfinished Business.” That agenda was issued after the close of business on Tuesday.

“They are burying the confirmation. It seems like they just want to punch it through with one day’s notice, and the public and public input be damned,” Alderman Witkowski said.

The rushed appointment of Chief Morales was also discussed during the April 9 Judiciary and Legislation Committee meeting, and a clip of that meeting can be viewed by CLICKING HERE. In this clip, Alderman Bauman and Alderman Witkowski question the legality of the public notice being given.

They both complain that the way the notice was written, no one knew that the important matter of appointing the chief of police was on the agenda."