MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Police Department is disciplining two of its members for lying about their COVID vaccination status to attend an out of state training in 2021. However, the superior officer who instructed them to do so will not face any discipline because he retired before the investigation was complete.
According to the Inspector General’s (IG) Report, Detective Lori Rom and Officer Natalie Cruz falsely documented a positive vaccination status in order to attend federal out-of-state training at the direction of Lt. Branko Stojsavljevic.
Rom was suspended 30 days and demoted to officer. Cruz was suspended for 60 days. Both are appealing the disciplinary decisions at a meeting with the Fire & Police Commission in September.
Acting as the two women’s superior in the Fusion Division, Stojsavljevic directed the two women to mark down they were vaccinated. The IG's report says one of the women felt intimidated to do so.
Stojsavljevic will not face any discipline for his involvement in the incident as he retired in the middle of May. His record only shows that he retired with an investigation pending.
The I-Team obtained records showing 50 officers, including Stojsavljevic, have retired with pending investigations since 2010. The subject of these investigations are unknown, but nearly all of them, 47 out of 50, are receiving taxpayer financed pensions. Including Stojsavljevic’s pension estimate, these 50 officers receive about $3,054,286.80 annually, ranging from more than $600 per month to more than $10,000 per month.