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After tie vote, Milwaukee FPC set to meet Thursday to decide on new police chief

Posted at 10:05 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 23:18:02-05

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission is set to meet Thursday night to decide on the city's new police chief, but two candidates say they are preparing for another tie.

"With an even number of commissioners, that sets up an opportunity for us to see what we did last week, which was a tie vote," said Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson. "Which also means we also don't have a permanent police chief selected."

Last week the Commission deadlocked in a 3-3 vote for candidates Malik Aziz and Hoyt Mahaley. Aziz is a Dallas Police major. Mahaley is an FBI special agent and Milwaukee native.

Both candidates say they trust the process even if it is another tie.

"No one's contacted me and said they would change their vote, so I'm kind of expecting and I'm kind of ramping myself up for a 3-3 tie," Major Aziz said. "And if it goes forward in that manner, then I expect in the next week, two weeks, three weeks, whatever it is, that they'll meet again."

"They're working hard," Mahaley said. "If it happens again, it just happens again, and I would have to be patient, continue to work hard at selling my message and letting people know more about me."

Commission Chairman Nelson Soler told TMJ4 News in an email if there is another tie, the vote will be deferred again.

Several Milwaukee Common Council members say they see this as problematic, because the Commission is down to six members after Commissioner Raymond Robakowski resigned in October.

"I think it's high time that we continue pushing in order to get nine members on the Fire and Police Commission," Council President Johnson said. "Hopefully if that would happen in the future, then we wouldn't see incidents like this where there's a tie vote."

Johnson said the Common Council could potentially confirm a new FPC appointee as soon as Tuesday.

But following last week's meeting, several members of the Council sent a letter to City Attorney Tearman Spencer seeking guidance if there is another deadlock. Alderwoman Milele Coggs wrote in part, "We also do not think it fair to place on the shoulders of a new member of a body of this consequence the burden of voting at the end of a process in which she has played no part."

Acting Milwaukee Police Chief Michael Brunson is set to retire Dec. 23.

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