Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. — the controversial, Stetson-wearing official who rose to national prominence with his no-holds-barred conservative rhetoric — resigned his office Thursday.
Clarke, who is in his fourth term, submitted a resignation letter to Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson on Thursday afternoon. The sheriff was in Nashville and could not be reached for comment.
The news of the resignation was first reported by conservative talk show host Mark Belling.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has “rescinded his acceptance” of an offer to join the Trump administration, a spokesman says.
Clarke announced in a radio interview last month that he had accepted an offer to become an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He said the position was in the Office of Partnership and Engagement as a liaison with state, local and tribal law enforcement.
But the agency never publicly announced the position.
In a statement late Saturday, Clarke spokesman Eric O’Keefe said the sheriff notified Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Friday that he would not accept the offer.
It looks like Clarke got out ahead of his skis on this one.
Sheriff David Clarke will be leaving his position as Milwaukee County Sheriff (a position he’s held since 2002) to take a position with the Trump administration’s Dept. of Homeland Security as a multi-agency and local law enforcement liason. Listen to my exclusive interview w/Clarke here:
To learn more about the division Sheriff Clarke will oversee, click HERE.
Clarke says he hopes to be able to help fill the gaps between local law enforcement needs, local and federal intel and the federal government. He says he told Gov. Walker some months ago he was likely to leave, but said he has not had a conversation w/Walker about his replacement.
This is the problem with years and years of normalizing illegal behavior. People become acclimated and it makes it that much tougher on them when we decide to enforce the law. All of these sob stories just reinforce the notion that we should enforce our laws swiftly and consistently.
Tensions were high in the immigrant community even before Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke announced his deputies would act as ICE agents. Advisers to the undocumented said that decision has many going underground.
I always wonder about comments like this:
Schrank said he was at the jail meeting with an undocumented client Thursday to explain that the sheriff’s announcement means he’s likely to face deportation, leaving three little kids behind.
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Hansher issued a temporary restraining order on Sunday blocking Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. from closing Sherman Park early, and he ordered the removal of bright orange snow fencing that has lined the park for all but a few hours since rioting broke out in the surrounding neighborhood over a two-day period last month.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele had sought the injunction on Sunday after he reinstated the county park’s normal operating hours and had the fencing removed — only to have Clarke reinstall the fencing and threaten to arrest anyone, including Abele, who refused to leave the park after 6 p.m.
In issuing the temporary restraining order, Hansher said there have been no incidents in the park for weeks, that the riots and vandalism that erupted after a police shooting took place outside of the park, and that maintaining the shorter hours served no public interest.
Hansher ordered sheriff’s deputies not to impede public access to the park “in the absence of any genuine, bona fide reason related to maintaining law and order and preserving the peace.”
It’s actually an interesting question. While the County Board and County Executive certainly have the authority to set the hours for county parks, does the Sheriff have the authority to override those hours in the name of public safety? It appears that the answer is “yes” because he did so for the past few weeks and nobody complained. But now the County Executive disagrees with the Sheriff’s assessment of the necessity of such a measure, does the County Executive have the authority to overrule the Sheriff? Abele and one county judge seems to think so. Obviously, the Sheriff disagrees. So separate from whether one agrees with Abele or Clarke, the legal clarification of the lines of authority will have an impact for some time.
Just heard on the Jay Weber Show, Clarke is not going to run against Tom Barrett. Clarke was widely seen as one of the few potential candidates who could unseat the incumbent mayor. Clarke’s decision not to run makes Barrett’s reelection chances very, very good.