Former Milwaukee police chief seeking damages after demotion

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee’s former police chief is seeking damages of $625,000 from the city following his recent demotion, a reduction in rank he did not accept.

Alfonso Morales filed a damage claim against the city Thursday for breach of contract, denial of due process and loss of reputation.

The Fire and Police Commission demoted Morales to captain on Aug. 6, about two weeks after giving him a long list of directives with the threat of discipline or termination if he failed to complete them.

Commissioners criticized how Morales handled multiple incidents involving Black people, including the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown. They were also critical of his decision to use tear gas and pepper spray against protesters who demonstrated after George Floyd’s death May 25 in Minneapolis.

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The seven-member civilian commission voted unanimously for Morales’ demotion. Morales filed for retirement the following week.

His attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, says Morales will also seek a judicial review of the commission’s actions, the Journal Sentinel reported. Gimbel said Friday that Morales is awaiting a transcript of the commission meeting and its order before proceeding.

After Morales’ demotion, the commission named Michael Brunson Sr., as acting chief. It’s conducting a nationwide search for police chief, with an application deadline of Sept. 11.

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