Milwaukee officer's resignation letter 'does not show remorse,' attorney says

A now-former Milwaukee police officer is accused of defrauding the city. Her resignation letter is prompting a bigger conversation about police discipline.

"You should’ve known better" is what a Milwaukee County judge had to say to former Milwaukee Police Officer Patricia Swayka during her plea hearing. 

Swayka pleaded no contest to defrauding the city of Milwaukee out of more than $3,000. Court records say Swayka received tuition money from the city while already getting tuition benefits from Veterans Affairs.

In her resignation letter, Swayka writes that her last day of employment was March 24 and her reason for leaving is, "I can tell when I am not wanted. I own a business now that is too demanding to stay employed here."

"To me, that does not even show remorse," said Caila Coleman.

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Coleman is an attorney and says the agreement between the prosecution and Swayka should've required her to be more transparent in her resignation letter.

"It doesn’t show that she’s learned a lesson and that she’s resigning for the correct reasons," said Coleman.

The Wisconsin Professional Police Association offers insight into when an officer resigns.

"Just as with any other person, when they resign their employment, they’re done," said Jim Palmer, WPPA executive director.

Palmer said Swayka will be able to redeem any unused vacation and retirement because she already earned them, but when it comes to being an officer again, Palmer says that's highly unlikely.

"The state Department of Justice maintains a database that basically flags anytime an officer has been terminated or if they’ve resigned in lieu of termination," said Palmer.

He added Wisconsin has a law that mandates transparency in the hiring process.

"Meaning that if an officer, in this case this officer applies to another agency, that agency is to have all the employment records for that officer and that’s not something that was always the case," said Palmer. 

The court ordered Swayka to repay the money she's accused of taking.

FOX6 News reached out to Swayka's attorney for comment on her case, but we haven't heard back. 

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