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The Wisconsin Supreme Court issues an opinion on Milwaukee police officer fired over Facebook posts

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Former Milwaukee police officer Erik Andrade is challenging his firing over a series of posts and comments he made on Facebook. According to court documents, the posts received significant local and national attention after a civil rights lawsuit brought them to light.

As part of its internal investigation into the posts, Milwaukee Police notified Andrade of policies he may have violated and scheduled an interview. The Chief formally found Andrade guilty of the charges and fired him for one of them. The chief filed a complaint with the same accusations and allegations with the entity reviewing his decision — the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, court documents show.

After a full evidentiary trial, the Council issued a detailed decision finding that Andrade was guilty of the offenses and that the sentences he received were appropriate. Andrade subsequently filed two actions in court. The trial court affirmed the board’s decision, Andrade appealed his certiorari petition and the appellate court affirmed, court records show.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a statement Monday:

“For us, Andrade disputes his dismissal on procedural grounds. The law does not support Andrade’s claim. Here, the ministry informed Andrade of his behavior (the Facebook posts) and what policies this behavior violated. The department gave Andrade the opportunity to respond to the allegations before the chief imposed punishment. The Chief’s decision to terminate was affirmed after a full administrative hearing before the Council, as well as judicial review of the Council’s decision. We conclude that the Due Process Clause does not require a more demanding and rigid pre-termination process than what Andrade received.”

Click here to read the full court documents.