Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke has officially accepted a job with the Department of Homeland Security to serve as a deputy secretary, and he's pretty much the worst possible pick for the position.
The conservative firebrand told WISN-AM talk radio host Vicki McKenna on Wednesday that he will work in the Office of Partnership and Engagement as a liaison to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies. Clarke said he will take a position at the Office of Partnership and Engagement.
"I'm looking forward to joining that team", Clarke said, adding that local law enforcement departments "feel like they're being ignored". He's been one of Trump's biggest cheerleaders, frequently praising the president's every move on Twitter, where his brash social media presence has earned him over 600,000 followers.
In an emailed statement, a DHS spokeswoman declined to confirm Clarke's statement, saying appointments of that type become official when they're announced by the agency's secretary. He is also a questionable law enforcement figure. "In general the focus is on what you should be angry about, not what to like".
The arch-reactionary sheriff earned the adoration of police officers across the USA for his "Blue Lives Matter" speech at last year's Republican National Convention, where he invoked Martin Luther King, Jr. while advocating for the granting of unlimited impunity to the police.
The Black Lives Matter movement grew out of protests over a number of police killings of unarmed black men in various parts of the United States.
Clarke has been Milwaukee County's sheriff since 2002. In mid-March, the family of a man who died of dehydration in April 2016 sued Clarke and the county, alleging that jail staff subjected the man to "torture" by denying him water as he pleaded for it over 10 days. But the death happened under his leadership, which his critics say was sufficient cause for Clarke to be fired.
A Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reporter present at the inquest wrote that prosecutors showed a six-person jury how, along with policy violations and disregard for Thomas' mental illness, "inattentiveness by corrections officers led to Thomas' death". Clarke faces no charges, although an investigation continues.
Last year, the frequent Fox News guest earned more than $105,000 in speaking fees - nearly as much as his sheriff's salary - at more than three dozen events across the country.