Milwaukee County Clerk George L. Christenson has confirmed that Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clark resigned Thursday afternoon, according to TMJ4. His resignation was received at 3:17 p.m.
The reason for his resignation is not immediately clear, but he did release a short statement.
After almost forty years serving the great people of Milwaukee County, I have chosen to retire to pursue other opportunities. I will have news about my next steps in the very near future.
Politico reported Thursday that Clarke is expected to take a job in President Donald Trump’s administration. But sources close to the sheriff disputed that, saying Clarke is looking at opportunities outside of government that support the Trump agenda and keep Clarke in the public eye, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Clarke had recently been under consideration for a position with the Department of Homeland Security, but withdrew his name from consideration in June.
Even though Clarke is registered and elected as a Democrat, Clarke was a vocal supporter of Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign. He is a frequent guest of Fox News and was a speaker at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Clarke was appointed sheriff by Governor Scott McCallum, and later elected to his first four-year term. He was re-elected in November 2006, 2010 and 2014.
Clarke has been a controversial figure at times and has faced backlash over his management of a Milwaukee County Jail, in which an inmate died of dehydration.
Clarke also came out publicly against the Black Lives Matter movement, referring to it as “Black Lies Matter” during an interview on “Hannity.”
Full clip of Clark’s “Hannity” interview:
Clarke’s national profile rose a few years ago when he began making regular appearances on Fox News in late 2014 to talk about policing after the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the police killing of Michael Brown.
Clarke also just released a book, Cop Under Fire: Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics for a Better America, that President Trump Tweeted about earlier this week.
Clarke attended Marquette University High School and went to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for one year. He started his career in law enforcement in 1978 with the Milwaukee Police Department.
Clarke was a patrol officer for eleven years and then became a homicide detective. He was promoted to lieutenant of detectives in 1993 and captain in 1999.