MADISON — Last week, Sheriff David Clarke announced he was stepping down from his post in Milwaukee County next month to accept a job at the Department of Homeland Security. Clarke, who had been being drafted by right-wing groups to run for U.S. Senate, backed down from challenging Senator Tammy Baldwin and now we know why. Aside from his negligence that allowed the deaths of four people in the Milwaukee County jail since last April, according to reporting from CNN, Clarke plagiarized his master’s thesis on homeland security.
According to news reports, in Sheriff Clarke’s 2013 master’s thesis on homeland security, the Milwaukee County official failed to properly attribute sources for the language he lifted in 47 separate instances, only crediting them with a footnote and not quotation marks to show he lifted the words verbatim per the school’s guidelines. If Clarke’s actions sound familiar it is because in January it was revealed that Monica Crowley, Trump’s original choice for senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council, did the same thing in her 2000 dissertation at Columbia University.
CNN reports that Clarke did not properly attribute language lifted from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Washington Post, the 9/11 Commission Report, a 2011 piece from the Homeland Security Affairs journal, the Pew Research Center, the Constitution Project, the US General Accounting Office, a 2011 Brennan Center report, a textbook on Homeland Security, the Manhattan Institute, and “Decision Points,” a book written by former President George W. Bush.
“If Sheriff Clarke can’t honestly give others credit for their ideas, how can we trust him to keep us safe at the Department of Homeland Security?” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Brandon Weathersby on Monday. “From the medals on his uniform to his commitment to public safety, everything about Sheriff Clarke is either wholly disingenuous at best or outright fraudulent at worst. Sheriff Clarke may have avoided the scrutiny of a Senate primary, but that doesn’t mean he can be trusted at the Department of Homeland Security.”