rodolfo gomez
A Milwaukee police detective at the center of a controversy over duty disability retirement has been fired from the department for failure to use restraint in dealing with a prisoner, Lt. Mark Stanmeyer confirmed.

Rodolfo Gomez Jr. was served with papers dismissing him from the force Wednesday, Stanmeyer said. Gomez had been on paid suspension since August, when he was allegedly caught on video beating a handcuffed suspect.

Gomez, 47, was charged in October with felony misconduct in public office and is scheduled to be in court Thursday.

While the district attorney's office was reviewing the case against him, Gomez filed for duty disability retirement, claiming stress due to the internal investigation.

Gomez's application also says he suffered a mental breakdown as a result of 31/2 years spent investigating the murders of nine children - as well as the death of a pregnant woman whose fetus was cut from her womb, killing them both.

His application for the benefit, which provides disabled officers with 75% of their salaries tax free, was brought to light by a Journal Sentinel investigation last month.

Gomez is among nine current or former officers who have applied for or received duty disability during or after a misconduct investigation.

After the news coverage, the retirement system's board implemented a new policy that allows the department to have input into whether officers receive duty disability.

Under the new rules, officers who want to apply for duty disability must first receive certification from the Police Department saying they are unable to work "limited duty," which includes tasks such as answering phones or completing paperwork.

This is an about-face from the past, when the department was not even notified of duty disability applications until they were approved.

Although Gomez filed his application before the rule change, it has not yet been approved by a panel of doctors or by the board of the retirement system.

Shortly after the rule change was made, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn and Capt. Gary Gacek wrote a letter to Jerry Allen, executive director of the Employees' Retirement System, saying they believe Gomez's application was fraudulent.

Gomez's application was made "in an attempt to remain on the city's payroll despite a likely felony conviction and/or administrative discharge from the department," the letter says.