Attorney Arellano Accuses Alderman Perez of Impropriety

By Robert Miranda, Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal

April 16, 2015

Milwaukee - Alderman Jose G. Perez is alleged to have acted in a manner prominent Madison attorney Victor Arellano considers unethical.

Arellano stated that the impropriety he charges that Perez engaged in sheds light on the reason why his client, Terra Bar on 6th & Bruce in Milwaukee, is being denied having its liquor license renewed by the City of Milwaukee.

On Tuesday, April 6 during the City of Milwaukee Licenses Committee meeting, attorney Arellano was representing his client when, during the presentation, Arellano made the charge that alderman Jose G. Perez approached the owners of the building that Terra Bar is operating from, and sought to have them sell their building to two individuals Perez knows who are seeking to buy the building.  

Arellano contends that the reason why Terra is unable to get their liquor license renewed is because Ald. Perez is retaliating against Terra Bar for raising questions addressing the Alderman’s attempt to broker a real estate deal with the building owners. 

While Arellano was making the charge against Ald. Perez to the chairman of the Licenses Committee, Ald. Tony Zeilinski, Perez sat at the table next to Arellano and did not respond to Arellano’s allegations against him.

In an email sent by attorney Arellano to the Spanish Journal, Arellano stated,
“…we believe that the denial of the renewal of their license was in part in retaliation for raising questions of apparent impropriety on the part of this Alderman.”

Additionally, Arellano stated that his client is also being targeted for refusing to surrender a video tape to police for an incident involving a minor at the bar.

The videotape matter was hotly debated during the April 6 Licenses Committee meeting between Arellano and committee members. Several of the members on the committee felt that the owners of Terra were not cooperating with police seeking to investigate why a minor was lying unconscious on the floor of the bar.

Arellano told the committee that he advised his client not to give the video to police. Arellano in his email to the Spanish Journal stated that his client was told by him not to release the video ”unless a warrant was obtained from a Court of Law” for it. 

While this is a legal issue that will most likely play out in court, the allegation of impropriety against alderman Perez by Arellano will most likely come up again during a review of this matter by another City of Milwaukee committee. 

“We believe the committee overreached and punished my client for raising issues of public concern,” said Arellano’s email. 

Arellano told the Spanish Journal that he must respect the process and that he could not elaborate anymore about the charge he made against Alderman Perez or the incident involving the minor. 

Alderman Perez did not respond to request for comment.

An official at City Hall confirmed that attorney Arellano did file an appeal of the decision by the Licenses Committee. The official stated that the appeal will be addressed at the April 21, 2015 full Common Council meeting at City Hall.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on April 16, 2015

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