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Commission reaches decision on suspended Waukesha fire chief

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Commission reaches decision on suspended Waukesha fire chief

By James Kust, Lacey Crisp, and Cody Holyoke. CREATED Oct 14, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct 14, 2013

WAUKESHA - Waukesha's Fire and Police Commission announced Monday that suspended fire chief Jesse Alba will be demoted to the rank of firefighter.

The decision was made by a 3-to-1 vote. One vote was in favor of firing Alba.

"Chief Alba was deceitful by fabricating or suggesting a misleading reason why Mary Jo Hoppe was resigning," the statement reads. "The Board finds it alarming that Chief Alba believes he has done nothing wrong in light of the overwhelming substantial evidence that supports the contrary."

Victor Plantinga, Alba's attorney, said in a statement he wasn't sure how his client would proceed.

"While we have not decided on how we will be proceeding in light of the Commission’s recent decision, we are pleased that the Commission agreed with our contention that Chief Alba did not violate the sexual harassment policy."

Alba was placed on paid administrative leave in August after a complaint alleged he had an inappropriate relationship with an employee, a relationship Alba has described as sexual.

The complaint filed with the Fire and Police Commission details Alba told the woman she had to quit because he could not do his job with her there.

The attorney for the city had previously argued the commission needed to fire Alba because he violated 14 rules.

“The only evidence you need to consider is that Chief Alba utilized his position to coerce a valued employee to quit,” Riffle said.

Click here to read the full statement from the Fire and Police Commission.