To say Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (pictured, right) is an irresponsible steward of the money he’s given for crime deterrence would be a gross understatement. According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Clarke has spent over $100,000 of more than $800,0000 in crime asset forfeiture funds on flat screen TVs ($8,200), workout gear for Clarke and his command staff ($11,400), Disney Destinations training sessions ($24,900), and horse rental, boarding and transport for the sheriff’s mounted patrol (more than $77,000).
While none of the spending violated federal rules governing asset forfeiture money, it did run afoul of county procurement rules, according to a county audit. The audit also turned up more than $10,000 in various travel expenses that weren’t supported by appropriate documentation.
While Clarke is fond of portraying himself as a “tough on crime” Sheriff, I can’t help but think that that over $100,000 he spent on workout equipment, flat screen TVs, trips for his staff, and his prized mounted patrol would have been better spent putting deputies out onto Milwaukee County’s streets so those deputies could actually deter crime. Then again, considering how inept Clarke is as a crimefighter, perhaps he simply doesn’t know how to spend money to do his actual job and deter crime.
Thankfully 2014 is just around the corner, and Milwaukee County’s voters will have another chance to elect a Sheriff who actually knows how to fight crime.