Ald. Chantia Lewis
Press Release

The more you know: Officers paid while suspended is standard in Milwaukee

Statement of Alderwoman Chantia Lewis May 15, 2020

By - May 15th, 2020 01:03 pm

In testimony yesterday (Thursday, May 14) before the Public Safety and Health Committee regarding the case of suspended Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Mattioli, some observers were surprised to learn that the officer was being paid during the suspension.

In Milwaukee, officers suspended with pay are the norm, per state statute (something not available to virtually any other city employee who is suspended). The statute requires officers to be paid while on suspension until they are discharged and have the discharge affirmed by Fire and Police Commission on appeal, if they do appeal.

Here is the language (Wis. Stat. § 62.50(18)):

(18) Salary during suspension. No chief officer of either department or member of the fire department may be deprived of any salary or wages for the period of time suspended preceding an investigation or trial, unless the charge is sustained. No member of the police force may be suspended under sub. (11) or (13) without pay or benefits until the matter that is the subject of the suspension is disposed of by the board or the time for appeal under sub. (13) passes without an appeal being made.

So if blame is to be assigned for the pay during suspension for Officer Mattioli and other MPD officers, it should be directed toward state legislators (mostly Republicans) in Madison.

I urge citizens who think it’s outrageous for suspended Milwaukee police officers to be paid their full salary during suspension to contact their state representative and state senator and express their concerns.

Please go to and use the “Who Are My Legislators?” tool bar to easily locate your state legislators and their contact information.

Recent Press Releases by Ald. Chantia Lewis

Statement on the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial

Alderwoman Chantia Lewis April 20, 2021

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Statement of Alderwoman Chantia Lewis April 13, 2021

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