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Common Council seeks authority to fire police chief

With an 8-6 vote, the Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday morning passed a resolution to request from the state the authority to fire the city’s police chief.

Mayor Tom Barrett vetoed the measure as soon as it hit his desk. State law currently gives hiring and firing authority to the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission.

“That system has worked, and it’s caused tensions between police chiefs and the commission, but it’s a system that’s non-political, and it works,” Barrett said.

Alderman Tony Zielinski and Alderman Mark Borkowski are two outspoken critics of Chief Ed Flynn and have expressed frustration over the chief’s handling of Milwaukee crime.

Council President Ashanti Hamilton joined Ald. Milele Coggs, Ald. Terry Witkowski, Ald. Jim Bohl, Ald. Michael Murphy and Ald. Cavalier Johnson in voting against the measure.

Zielinski, Borkowski, Ald. Jose Perez, Ald. Khalif Rainey, Ald. Russell W. Stamper, Ald. Nik Kovac, Ald. Chantia Lewis and Ald. Robert Bauman voted in favor.

“The strategy that’s in place right now is not working,” Rainey said.

Alderman Bob Donovan was absent.

Flynn did not comment.

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