MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee’s top cop has been demoted. Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales is now Captain Morales. The Fire and Police Commission could have taken a number of actions against Morales as they voted on his discipline Thursday night including firing him. Instead, they chose a demotion.
“The chief, effective immediately, is demoted to the rank of captain,” said Steve DeVougas, chair of the Fire and Police Commission.
Morales listened in virtually as every member voted for his demotion. He never made a comment. However, some of the commissioners weighed in.
“I feel you have personally not worked with us as the oversight board,” said Nelson Soler, a commissioner with the Fire and Police Commission.
“His conduct is unbecoming filled with ethical lapses and flawed decision. Making it inconsistent with some charged with leading the Milwaukee Police Department,” said Ray Robakowski, a commissioner with the Fire and Police Commission.
The last few days exposed a deep rift between Morales and FPC Chair Steven DeVougas. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett described it as a feud. But the issues clearly went deeper than a disagreement between the two as every member of the commission agreed Morales needed to go.
“I’m kind of sort of disappointed that you didn’t because you had such a wonderful story. And to just not do what you said you would do just makes me sad,” said Ann Wilson, Fire and Police Commissioner.
With that done, the FPC named a replacement. Assistant Chief Michael Brunson is now Acting Chief Brunson. Then, the body elected a new FPC chair, replacing the embattled chair DeVougas with Nelson Soler.
Following the meeting, the commissioners walked out without answering any questions.
“We have said enough, we have said enough,” said Wilson.
Assistant Chief Brunson takes over as Milwaukee Police Chief immediately.