Embattled Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn has hired an attorney to represent him in the wake of a Fire and Police Commission order to change the city’s police pursuit policy, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal. Attorney Franklyn Gimbel said Flynn hired him “to consult with him about the threats that were included in his Fire and Police Commission directive related to employment.” Last week, the commission ordered Flynn to submit a revised pursuit policy to the panel by July 27. The directive came after months of study and public testimony about police chases and how the policy may be influencing a culture of reckless driving and playing a role in the local drug trade.
The order said that “failure to comply with this directive may result in disciplinary action by the board, including discharge, suspension without pay or reduction in rank.” Gimbel said, “I’ve never seen a communication from a Fire and Police Commission in Milwaukee to the chief that essentially says, ‘Do this or else.’ I view it as an ultimatum threat, and I don’t think it’s an appropriate.” Flynn’s decision to hire Gimbel comes amid tension with the Milwaukee Common Council. Last week, Alderman Tony Zielinski unveiled a proposal that would give the council the power to fire the city’s police chief.