MILWAUKEE (AP) — A judge said Wednesday that he will reinstate ousted Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales to his post in 45 days unless Morales’ attorneys and the city settle their legal fight over his job.
“If you can’t get it settled within the 45 days, then my order goes into effect,” Foley said at the end of a 30-minute hearing, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. “Put him back in office, make him the chief and away we go.”
The city’s police commission demoted Morales to captain in August following turmoil over racial justice protests and complaints of distrust within the Milwaukee Police Department.
The former chief’s attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, has said Morales’ relationship with the commission had been deteriorating since he refused the chairman’s demand to fire an officer involved in the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown in January 2018.
More recently, the commission criticized Morales for authorizing tear gas to disperse protesters. The commission also raised questions over how the department has policed Black communities.
Morales joined the Milwaukee department in 1993 and was appointed chief in February 2018.
Morales chose to retire and sued for damages. Foley reversed the commission’s decision in December but didn’t issue further instructions. Morales’ attorneys have accused the city of dragging its feet on settlement negotiations and failing to abide by Foley’s order. City attorneys have argued that Morales’ retirement following his demotion prevented his reinstatement as chief.