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‘1 poor choice:’ Kenosha police officer sentenced for driving drunk, likely to lose job

Gregory Munnelly

MILWAUKEE -- A Kenosha police officer found himself on the other side of the law over a misdemeanor OWI that injured a man in Oak Creek. FOX6 News has learned the officer might also lose his job.

Kenosha Police Officer Gregory Munnelly was sentenced on Wednesday, Jan. 2 to 40 days in the House of Correction. His license was revoked for a year. He pleaded guilty in court to misdemeanor OWI.

"One poor choice of having something to drink and getting behind the wheel of your car essentially, tragically, can change your life, another person's life and your family," said the prosecutor.

Prosecutors said in November 2017, Munnelly was intoxicated when he got behind the wheel of his car and collided near the intersection of Ryan Road and Howell Avenue in Oak Creek. Officers reported two vehicles with significant damage. The person Munnelly hit was diagnosed with injuries that included a concussion.

Prosecutors said Officer Munnelly was "confused as to which direction he had been heading." Prosecutors also said he had "bloodshot, glassy eyes." Court records also said Munnelly "admitted having some drinks." Police on the scene reported a "strong odor of alcohol." Munnelly's preliminary breath test registered .198 -- or more than twice the legal limit.

Gregory Munnelly

At Munnelly's plea/sentencing hearing, the court was informed the 41-year-old was placed on administrative leave as of Wednesday. This case will likely end Munnelly's 19-year career in law enforcement.

"It's Mr. Munnelly's understanding that the chief will be recommending to the Police and Fire Commission that he be terminated," said Munnelly's attorney, Leah Thomas.

Thomas issued the following statement on this case:

"Mr. Munnelly wishes to express his sincere apology to the other driver involved in the accident, and to the communities of Oak Creek and Kenosha for his poor decision to drink and drive. He accepted full responsibility for his actions in court in an attempt to address this situation, and he hopes that it will not overshadow his 19 years of good service as a law enforcement officer."

Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis issued this statement:

"On January 2, 2019, Sergeant Gregory Munnelly was placed on Administrative Leave.  I will be preparing charges for submission to the Kenosha Police and Fire Commission.  Sergeant Munnelly’s off-duty incident is not acceptable or reflective of our standards, and is in no way condoned.  Based on his conduct and the conviction, I will be seeking termination of his employment with the Kenosha Police Department.

Sergeant Munnelly’s employment is a personnel matter over which the Police and Fire Commission has authority.  Until the charges are filed with them, I will not have additional comments."

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