MILWAUKEE (CN) – Controversial Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said Wednesday he accepted a position as an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, but the department says not so fast.
The polarizing supporter of President Donald Trump told WISN-AM in Milwaukee that he will work as a liaison to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies in DHS’s Office of Partnership and Engagement beginning in June.
However, DHS seemed to push back on the announcement in a tweet posted a few hours after the radio interview: “Sr. positions are announced when made official by the Sec. No such announcement w/ regard to the Office of Public Engagement has been made.”
DHS did not immediately respond Thursday to an email request for comment.
One person who would not be sad to see Clarke leave is Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, who said in a statement that “Milwaukee deserves better than Sheriff Clarke. America does too.”
“For the country I love, the last thing America needs is another loud voice angrily and unproductively telling you who to blame and who not to trust,” Abele said in a news release. “The appointment of Sheriff Clarke to a position intended to build partnership and engagement is not a decision made by someone interested in partnership or engagement.”
Sheriff Clarke has been criticized for his management of the Milwaukee County jail, where four inmates have died since last year.
Two weeks ago, a Milwaukee jury recommended charges for seven staffers at the county jail for the dehydration death of an inmate. The staffers would allegedly turn off water to inmates’ cells as punishment.
Clarke was sued in December after a newborn baby was found dead because staffers allegedly ignored the mother’s cries for help.
Despite the legal challenges, Clarke has remained a conservative favorite and some have called for him to run for the U.S. Senate against Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.
Clarke is currently serving his fourth term as Milwaukee County Sheriff and would be up for re-election next year.