Sherriff David Clarke of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is now saying through representatives that he is rescinding his acceptance of an assistant secretary job with the Department of Homeland Security, which he announced exactly one month earlier. However, DHS had not confirmed the offer publicly, and no journalists confirmed it via background sources, either.
“Late Friday, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. formally notified Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly that he had rescinded his acceptance of the agency’s offer to join DHS as an assistant secretary,” Clarke adviser Craig Peterson told The Washington Post on Saturday. He added that Clarke will “promote the president’s agenda in a more aggressive role.”
DHS had previously refused to confirm the offer, telling CNN a month ago that “senior positions” like the one that Clarke said he was filling “are announced by the Department when made official by the Secretary.” Just after Saturday became Sunday on the east coast, MSNBC's Joy Reid, reading the news, asked if the offer was ever confirmed:
On Sunday morning, though, a DHS spokesperson did effectively imply that there had been an offer, issuing the following statement to Independent Journal Review:
“Sheriff Clarke is no longer being considered for a position within DHS. We wish him well.”
However, the spokesperson declined to elaborate on the previous lack of comment regarding Clarke's claim.
Clarke has become a controversial figure for a number of reasons, the most serious of which is the state of his jails. Most infamously, one mentally ill inmate died after being denied water for days.