Milwaukee, Morales agree to mediation

Ousted Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales and the city of Milwaukee have agreed to mediation after nearly a year of litigation.

Still, it won't be known exactly if or when the two parties reach a settlement. Both sides had a scheduled conference call Wednesday, June 9 to look at mediation dates – agreeing to keep the dates of conversations private.

The legal battle has taken many twists and turns.

"He never wanted to be removed as chief," said Raymond Dall'Osto, attorney for Morales.

The city is working under a crucial deadline after a judge ruled Morales was not given due process when he was demoted by the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission in 2020. In May, the city was given 45 days to reach a settlement with Morales or bring him back as chief by the first week of July.

Alfonso Morales

Reinstatement would be a move not welcomed by high-ranking city leaders who favor current acting MPD Chief Jeffrey Norman to take over the position permanently.

"I want to make sure we don’t lose somebody who is as talented and dedicated to Milwaukee as Jeff Norman is," said Common Council President Cavalier Johnson.

But the hiring process for a chief has been on hold for several months due to the Morales litigation. Last week, FOX6 News learned Norman was seeking work elsewhere. He is one of three candidates under consideration to become Wauwatosa's next police chief.

"I desperately would like to keep him. I don’t want to lose him to a municipality that’s quite literally across the street," said Johnson.

Wauwatosa police chief finalists James MacGillis, Jeffrey Norman and David Salazar

Wauwatosa's mayor said a hiring decision could be made there in the next two weeks, meaning the city could reach a settlement with Morales and still miss on tabbing Norman to lead MPD.

The decision to fire a police chief ultimately falls in the hands of the FPC. Efforts to reach the FPC for comment on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

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