Controversial Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says he’s headed to Washington D.C. Clarke said Wednesday that he’s departing the sheriff’s office take over an office that coordinates the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts with state, local and tribal, law enforcement agencies.
“I’m almost overwhelmed just the with the thought of it, but at the same time I never shy away from a challenge,” Clarke told WISN radio in Milwaukee. “I said from the beginning, after President Trump was elected, if asked to serve I would.”
As of Wednesday, Clarke said he hadn’t yet informed Governor Scott Walker, who will appoint his successor. “I got a lot of things to take care of over the next several weeks,” he said. Clarke said he hopes whoever fills the remaining year-and-a-half of his term will keep his policies and goals in place.
The White House declined to comment on Sheriff Clarke’s announcement, and the Homeland Security Department, via Twitter and an emailed statement, said that “such senior positions are announced by the department when made official by the secretary. No such announcement with regard to the Office of Public Engagement has been made.”
Clarke has been a vocal proponent of gun rights and an early supporter of President Trump. This month, a grand jury recommended criminal charges against several staff members at the Milwaukee County Jail overseen by Clarke in connection with the death of inmate Terrill Thomas last year.