The city of Milwaukee and former ousted Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales have reached a tentative agreement that will keep him from returning to his job this week.
“The terms of the settlement are forthcoming and subject to Common Council approval,” according to a statement obtained by WPR. “Chief Morales and the city have agreed to a stipulation to postpone his return date from July 15 to Aug. 1, 2021, if necessary, to effectuate the terms of the settlement.”
If approved, the $626,000 settlement will end a nearly year-long battle between Morales and the city.
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The settlement was negotiated by Nate Cade, a Milwaukee attorney hired by the city, Milwaukee Alder Ashanti Hamilton and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
During a press conference Tuesday evening, Barrett said he felt it was fair to give Morales $500,000. Over the course of negotiations and considering legal fees and other costs, the $626,000 amount was reached.
The last contract Morales signed with the city runs through January 2024. He’s paid about $145,000 a year, Barrett said.
“You look for a compromised number, clearly they were seeking more than that, and clearly we wanted less than that, we felt at the end of the day it was important to resolve this matter,” Barrett said. “I believe it is fair to taxpayers. This is not a happy chapter.”
Franklyn Gimbel, one of Morales’ attorneys, said he couldn’t comment at this time.
The Milwaukee Common Council’s Judiciary and Legislation Committee will vote on the settlement Monday. The full council will vote July 27.
Morales has been fighting to get his job back since he was demoted by the Fire & Police Commission in August following months of turmoil amid police brutality protests and years of community distrust of police officers. Shortly after being demoted, Morales retired.
In April, Morales’ attorneys filed an affidavit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court demanding the former chief be reinstated. They argued the city wasn’t following a December court decision by not returning Morales to his post as chief.
On May 19, Milwaukee County Judge Christopher Foley agreed, ruling Morales must be reinstated within 45 days.
Morales has also filed a federal lawsuit against the city alleging his civil rights were violated when he was demoted.
The city has acknowledged Morales’ due process was violated when he was demoted.
“It’s never an easy situation when the city is being sued,” Hamilton said. “And it’s even more difficult when we’ve already acknowledged that the process was flawed.”
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