Milwaukee’s aldermen cleaned up some legal affairs Tuesday, settling three lawsuits against the city for $170,000, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
One of the settlements, for $75,000, stemmed from a federal civil rights suit that Earl Cosey and his ex-girlfriend Michelle Brown filed against the city. In 2005 Cosey, a parolee, was being shook down for guns by a Milwaukee police officer, Ala Awadallah.
Cosey collected evidence against Awadallah by recording some of his phone calls with the police officer, and with incriminating voicemails that Awadallah sent him.
Awadallah in 2005 pleaded guilty to depriving a citizen of civil rights, and went to prison for a year.
Milwaukee paid a second settlement, a final payment of $75,000, to city police Det. Philip Sliwinski, who lost his job after following a 2000 sting operation that had actually had targeted another detective, Edwin Bonilla. Sliwinski was fired by then police chief Arthur Jones in 2002, even though he was never criminally charged.
Sliwinski sued over his firing. He won his case and was rehired, and was awarded more than $220,000 in back pay. But this week’s $75,000 settlement is for legal fees and penalties against the city.
The third settlement this week, $20,000, went to the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center. The group alleged that the Milwaukee police department violated the First Amendment when it shut down the play “Naked Boys Singing” in 2005.