When Waukesha's Police and Fire Commission fired former Fire Chief Jesse Alba in March, Alba said he wasn't going to stop fighting to get his old job back.
He delivered on his promise to appeal the PFC's ruling this month, when he filed a petition in Waukesha County Circuit Court seeking a higher court's review of the PFC proceedings earlier this year that resulted in Alba's termination.
The two-day hearing in January was actually the second PFC hearing regarding Alba's position in the department. After the first, in October 2013, he was demoted to the rank of firefighter when the commission determined he violated the city's anti-harassment policy and other code of conduct rules.
Both Alba and PFC Chairwoman Cheryl Gemignani did not respond to requests for comment on the latest legal filing.
The filing is Alba's second legal action this year following the PFC's ruling. In late March, he and his wife, Vickie, sued Mary Jo Hoppe, the woman with whom Alba had an affair while he was an assistant fire chief and who played a role in the PFC's decisions against him, for defamation.
The petition filed June 6 argues Alba's due process rights were again violated by the PFC. It seeks a detailed review and possible reversal of the decision that left Alba without a job after a 25-plus year career in public service.
A circuit court judge said in 2014 Alba's fundamental due process rights were violated during the first hearing. Then, in 2015, the Court of Appeals ruled he was entitled to a second hearing because the PFC made its original decision in part based on personal recollections of Alba's truthfulness during an interview process instead of objective evidence presented at the hearing.
When Alba interviewed in 2013 for the fire chief position he later got, he never mentioned his affair with Hoppe, which began in February 2012 and continued through August 2012, and later asked her to consider resigning.
Alba said he asked Hoppe to resign as 'a solution' to lingering feelings the couple had for each other after the affair.
Hoppe has never spoken publicly about the relationship and did not testify in front of the PFC even after she was subpoenaed following the first hearing.
Due process questions
The petition, authored by Alba's attorney Douglas Rose, asserts that Alba was not provided an adequate opportunity to cross-examine witnesses, that the PFC improperly relied on 'hearsay' testimony and violated a court directive by again considering Alba truthfulness when making its decision.
'(T)he end result of the second PFC hearing was more severe punishment for Alba than the end result following the first PFC hearing,' the petition reads, 'even though the facts and evidence were less.'
In its written decision, the PFC, a five-person panel, said that testimony showed Alba's 'lack of integrity and professionalism, and his misuse of his position to intimidate and improperly pressure Hoppe to resign.'
According to online court records, there is not a hearing date scheduled for the case.
Additionally, court records show that Hoppe's attorney, Lori Lubinsky, recently filed a motion to dismiss the defamation suit against her client. That case is also pending.