GOP want taxpayers to pay fired, lying Milwaukee cops -- Wonder why? | Wis.Community

GOP want taxpayers to pay fired, lying Milwaukee cops -- Wonder why?

Wisconsin Republicans are at it again, paying off the Milwaukee Police Assn. in return for political support. It's a long-standing tradition when the GOP is in control in Madison, ever since the days of Tommy Thompson. The MPA is almost the only "union" to endorse Repubs, including Scott Walker

 

GOP members of Joint Finance stuck a last-minute provision into the state budget bill to require the City of Milwaukee to continue to pay cops after they're fired. That used to be the law -- only in Milwaukee -- until people were outraged enough by the brutal beating of Frank Jude that the law was changed. The Journal Sentinel reviews the history:

Under the old law, fired Milwaukee officers remained on the payroll for an average of nine months, in part because of lengthy appeals by the powerful police union, according to a Journal Sentinel investigation. Some fired officers collected paychecks for years.

 

The issue came to the public's attention after the police beating of Frank Jude Jr. in 2004. The three officers central to beating Jude collected nearly $500,000 in pay and benefits while they awaited trial. They were not removed from the payroll until they were convicted. State law says felons cannot be police officers.

 

Legislators changed the law first in 2008 - cutting off pay only for officers fired for conduct that also resulted in felony charges or Class A or Class B misdemeanor charges.

 

The following year, lawmakers went further, cutting off pay for any fired Milwaukee officer. Fired officers can appeal termination to the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, which has the power to overturn terminations. The law requires that reinstated officers receive back pay.

 

Early Friday, Republicans who run the committee voted to roll back the law to the 2008 version.

The most common reason for officers to be fired is for lying. Here's what the chief had to say:

"All this bill does is allow the unscrupulous officers we fire for untruthfulness to game the system at taxpayer expense," Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said. "It is well known that officers in that position delay justice as long as possible, collecting money for no work."

The provision was written by Joint Finance Committee co-chairs Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and passed on a party-line vote.

Gee, wonder who the MPA will endorse in the Darling recall election?

Published

June 8, 2011 - 9:20pm

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