KENOSHA — A Kenosha police officer was terminated after pleading guilty in connection with a drunk driving crash.
Police confirmed his employment was terminated Feb. 1. The Fire and Police Commission was notified on Feb. 19.
Gregory Munnelly, 41, on Jan. 2 pleaded guilty to one count of causing injury/operating while under the influence, first offense (PAC greater than .15).
He was sentenced to serve 40 days in the House of Correction with Huber release, and his driver’s license was suspended for 12 months. He was ordered to utilize an ignition interlock device when his driving privileges are restored.
“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 during Munnelly’s sentencing.
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.
At Munnelly’s plea/sentencing hearing, the court was informed he was placed on administrative leave.
“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.”