Copyright 2006 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Andrew Spengler, 26, was cleared Friday of the single charge he faced, party to the crime of substantial battery, in the beating of Frank Jude Jr. Two other officers, Jon Bartlett, 34, and Daniel Masarik, 26, were acquitted as well. The jury reached no verdict on a substantial battery charge against Bartlett.
One of three former police officers acquitted of beating a man will now look at getting his job back, his attorney said.
Attorney Michael Hart said he will represent Spengler in his appeal before the Fire and Police Commission.
He said Spengler was fired on allegations of committing substantial battery, and since he was acquitted they should try to get his job back.
"It certainly doesn't hurt," Hart said of the acquittal.
Spengler, who hosted the party near where Jude was beaten, was also fired on accusations of failing to follow orders.
If an officer is acquitted, an appeal hearing is normally scheduled, said David Heard, executive director of the Fire and Police Commission.
Commission attorney Steven Fronk said a meeting would be held today to discuss the city's options in regard to all three officers. Fronk said he was not sure what the options are.
Spengler was among nine officers fired last May by Chief Nan Hegerty.
Following the acquittal of Spengler and the two other officers, Jon Bartlett and Daniel Masarik, Hegerty and Mayor Tom Barrett said none of the men would ever work for the Police Department. But Hegerty did say the men could win their jobs back.
The appeals by the three men to the commission were put on hold pending the criminal charges. Of the six other officers, two got their jobs back and four either lost their appeal or resigned before the hearing.
In accordance with a state law that applies only to Milwaukee police, Spengler, Masarik and Bartlett have all received full pay and benefits -- worth about $64,000 -- since they were fired, according to city records.
Masarik and Bartlett do not have to start their appeal because they are still facing criminal charges. Masarik still faces a perjury charge, which is set for trial in June. Bartlett faces a trial in July on felony bomb scare and bail jumping charges. There could also be a retrial on the charge the jury could not resolve.
If the commission upholds firings, former police officers can appeal to the Circuit Court.
April 18, 2006
One of three aquitted Milwaukee officers to try to get job back