Morales' attorney: No solution yet on police chief's future

As former Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales could get his job back, a judge last week reversed the Fire and Police Commission’s decision to demote him in August.

A critical meeting was set to take place this morning to discuss his future, yet another complication in determining the city’s next top cop.

FOX6 sat down with Morales’s attorney. He described the critical meeting with the city as short, with no real resolution. 

Attorney Frank Gimbel

This all comes on the heels of the current acting chief’s scheduled retirement.

Attorney Franklyn Gimbel says his client’s future is still unknown following a critical Monday morning meeting with the city.

"It was a short and not very profitable meeting," Gimbel said.

A judge’s ruling last week reversed the Fire and Police Commission’s decision to demote then Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales to captain in August. The city had already admitted in legal filings Morales was not given due process.

Alfonso Morales

"The Fire and Police Commission did not follow the law or the rules and it was an unfair decision," Gimbel said.

He said city attorney Tearman Spencer was not present at Monday's meeting. An assistant city attorney was there instead.

"He was obviously not very schooled on where he should go with these initial settlement discussions," said Gimbel.

He says there are two real options ahead.

"The two potential outcomes of Judge Foley, one the return of Chief Morales and the other being some alternative financial payments to have him walk away from the entitlements of that job," said Gimbel.

This is all adds to the complications of finding Milwaukee's next top cop. The nationwide search for a police chief is at a standstill with the FPC voting and tying twice on a replacement. Meanwhile, Acting Chief Michael Brunson scheduled retirement is happening this week with Assistant Chief Jeffrey Norman scheduled to take over.

FOX6 asked if Morales wants to come back.

"Everybody asks me that question and it’s not for Frank Gimbel to say yes he does or no he doesn’t," Gimbel said.

Mayor's reaction

On Monday evening, Dec. 21, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett issued the following statement: 

"In consultation with the City Attorney’s Office, we understand the circuit court’s recent ruling reinstated Alfonso Morales to his former rank as Chief of Police. Chief Morales voluntarily retired from service on August 8, 2020. It is the City Attorney’s position that he is no longer a retired Captain; rather, he is a retired Chief of Police."

Attorney Gimbel followed up saying, "I think this is a cheap shot at keeping Morales out of the administration building...I think it is a strategy to lock the door on the chief coming back."

FOX6 reached out to the city attorney for comment. We have yet to hear back.

Meanwhile, we’ve learned through his attorney that Alfonso Morales feels vindicated following Friday's ruling.


Judge reverses Milwaukee FPC demotion of Alfonso Morales

The police oversight body that demoted Morales, who later resigned, is in the midst of a search for a new police chief.