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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett allows interim health commissioner to serve

Posted at 3:12 PM, Feb 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-15 18:16:11-05

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett did not veto the Common Council’s choice for interim Milwaukee Health Commissioner Patricia McManus.

In a news conference Thursday, Barrett was critical of the process, saying the council surpassed the proper protocol, and called the whole thing “political.” Barrett returned the council’s file unsigned, meaning he did not approve but would not stop McManus’ appointment. 

McManus was appointed earlier this month. The position became open following Bevan Baker’s resignation after a snafu left thousands of families without proper notification that their children were at risk for lead poisoning. 

McManus was recently the focus of contention following her comments on a radio show last week, saying “the science is still out” on the link between vaccines and autism in children. 

Barrett said the policy of the health department is to promote vaccination, and he added he made that distinction clear to McManus. 

Barrett said he will continue to search for a permanent health commissioner.