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Former Police Chief Alfonso Morales sues Milwaukee in federal court, arguing his civil rights were violated

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Posted at 6:25 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 19:43:37-04

MILWAUKEE — Former Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales has filed a federal lawsuit against the city's Fire and Police Commission in his fight to reach a settlement - or get his old job back.

A judge last month ordered the city to reach a settlement or, if not, allow Morales to resume working as police chief. The judge ruled that the FPC had not given due process when it demoted Morales amid ongoing tensions between the commission and the then-current chief. After being demoted to captain last year, Morales resigned from the force.

In the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, Morales argues his civil rights were violated when he was demoted.

The suit identifies the city, the FPC and its commissioners and staff as defendants.

"Given the defendants’ more than six months of offering nothing and refusing to comply with Judge Foley’s orders for reinstatement, plaintiff Morales faces a significant risk of being retaliated against and undermined every step of the way upon his return as Chief of Police of the City of Milwaukee. This retaliation and violation of his statutory and constitutional rights, simply for standing up for his rights, also violates state law and federal and state constitutional rights of due process, equal protection and fair treatment," according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also says following his resignation from the force, Morales was offered a position with better pay several months ago - but the ongoing legal issues with the city led that offer to be withdrawn.

"But because of the continuing controversy, which was and continues to be caused and abetted by defendants’ intransigent defense of their illegal and unconstitutional actions, and the resultant press coverage of same, the job offer made to him and accepted was withdrawn because of such," the suit states.

The lawsuit demands the city pay damages and the cost of legal counsel, among other relief.

This month the city of Milwaukee agreed to mediation with Morales to come to a deal.

Morales said in a radio interview last month he did not have any indication what the city would offer him, but said he is ready to be reinstated as chief.

Milwaukee's search for a new police chief is on hold as the FPC and Morales find a solution.

View the federal lawsuit below:

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