MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee County judge denied the city's request to push back reinstating former Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales to July 3 unless a deal could be made.
Judge Christopher Foley did not mince words when making his decision and called the Fire and Police Commission's actions "disgraceful" and the reason for "chaos" in the community.
"My fingers are on the scale. I am forcing the city to either obey the law or buy their way out of this because of what they did. Do I want to be in this position? Hell no. But I am in this position. They disregarded the law. The law accords him [Morales] this remedy and if they don’t want to record him this remedy, then find a solution short of that, that’s acceptable," Foley said.
Morales appeared over zoom next to his attorney, Franklyn Gimbel.
The city's attorney, Nate Cade, argued that not granting the stay and reinstating Morales by next week could cause harm by flip-flopping directives, and that Morales could shuffle command shifting immediately when reinstated.
Judge Foley called the concerns speculative.
In an interview following Thursday's hearing, Gimbel said, in his opinion, Morales will return to MPD in uniform on July 3. Gimbel added that he hopes there is still a possibility of settling.
"I hope the answer is yes, and when I say I hope the answer is yes, it's not because my client is reluctant to go back to being chief, but it's because he has had, as the court recognized today, he has suffered some loss of reputation by reason of the way he was demoted by the Fire and Police Commission," Gimbel said.
In any case, Gimbel said they plan to continue pursuing their federal lawsuit against the city, arguing Morales' civil rights were violated when he was demoted.