A few days ago, I finally put down my thoughts about redoing Milwaukee’s very badly broken Fire and Police Commission. But the mayor and the common council really shouldn’t wait too long because it looks like the GOP in Madison have the FPC in their sights. And the last thing we need is Madison mucking around in the city’s business again. Because it never turns out to the advantage of Milwaukee.
…Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard of Racine is pushing for a suite of bills that would overhaul Milwaukee and Madison’s police and fire commissions…
And then let’s catch up with the saga of former commission chair but still current commission member Steven DeVougas. Seems like the investigation into his ethics breach is going to trend deep into the new year:
The ethics investigation into allegations against the former chairman of Milwaukee’s police oversight board will continue into 2021, approaching a full year since the complaint that launched the investigation was filed.
The complaint was filed in February.
The police union’s complaint outlined a series of allegations against DeVougas, an attorney.
Those included that DeVougas violated the public’s trust and misused his position as the head of the powerful commission when he accompanied a prominent real estate developer, his corporate client, to an August 2019 police interview of the developer regarding a sexual assault allegation against him.
A separate independent investigator’s report requested by the Fire and Police Commission found DeVougas likely violated the city’s ethics code and lied about his legal representation of the developer.
Why is Mr. DeVougas still on the commission? He should have been removed from the FPC months ago. We’ll see what happens in 2021. But it just seems odd that we let someone with a cloud over his head remain in a position of authority over our police department.
But once again, I am calling for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and the Milwaukee Common Council to review and remake the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission into a functioning and transparent civilian authority who will oversee our 21st Century public safety organizations.