MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A group of Milwaukee police officers are under fire, accused of scamming the city out of millions of dollars with the help of a convicted felon. The Milwaukee Police Association is now looking for possible reform on duty disability.
Former and current MPD officers Anthony Bialecki, Jason Blakewell and Rudolfo Gomez applied for duty disability only after being the targets of internal or criminal investigations.
"Nowhere else in any work world, in the private sector or anywhere else, would somebody be able to get this type of benefit if they're being terminated or criminally charged," said Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy.
Murphy says there appears to be a pattern of Milwaukee police officers under investigation, who are also applying for duty disability -- a system or pension which could give them paychecks for life.
"The system right now is a disgrace and it dishonors an awful lot of noble service," said Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.
The Milwaukee Police Association released a statement saying:
While an examination of the duty disability system may be warranted -- there is an absolute need for the DDR process. Our officers, on a daily basis, face the horrific underbelly of society and are exposed to scenes that would rival that of horror movies; however, these encounters are real. It should never be solely up to laymen to determine validity of DDR applications. It never has. Every case is scrutinized by competent doctors -- plural.
"On the face value, when I look at some of these cases, I scratch my head and say how is that even remotely possible how a doctor could come to that conclusion?" asked Murphy.
Chief Flynn agrees with Murphy, who says doctors are given misinformation -- and officers with disabilities are able to work light duty or desk jobs.
"We want the opportunity to make that case. Don't just grant the disability without saying do you have something for these officers and if so, what?" said Flynn.
Alderman Murphy requested an internal audit be completed by the city, and that process is currently ongoing.
Chief Flynn believes officers who are currently under internal or criminal investigation should not be eligible for disability until they've been cleared of wrongdoing.