Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. recently promoted Nancy Evans to the captain overseeing airport security, even though Clarke’s own internal investigation found she had committed a “clear act” of misconduct in office just 18 months ago.
Prosecutors decided last year not to press charges against Evans because they couldn’t prove she personally benefited when awarding thousands of taxpayer dollars to an account she created for her longtime boyfriend via no-bid contracts.
But a fellow captain who investigated Evans for the agency concluded that she broke county rules in providing contracts to Jevon Terry, a former corrections officer with whom she had an extramarital affair, according to an internal report obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The probe showed Evans created the PayPal account for her boyfriend’s company and produced the invoices for the work, which was considered slipshod and incomplete. Most of the money from the contracts was spent by Terry while he was with Evans at her work-related jail conference in Reno, Nev.
“The investigation revealed that Evans used her position to circumvent the Milwaukee County Procurement and Purchasing process and steer contracts to Terry,” said the internal report written by sheriff’s Capt. Brian Barkow. “The actions by Evans created a dishonest advantage for Terry.”
Before the investigation — and subsequent suspension and demotion — Evans had quickly climbed the ranks during Clarke’s tenure. Her pay is about $80,000 a year, county records show.
Evans is now the focus of a lawsuit by the Milwaukee County deputies union that argues Clarke illegally promoted her to the rank of captain. The lawsuit says that Evans lacked law enforcement certification and that Clarke didn’t follow the proper procedures for filling a vacancy in his agency.
The promotion of Captain Nancy Evans despite her past misconduct is proof of just how dysfunctional the Sheriff’s Office has become under Sheriff David Clarke, and it just underscores why change is so desperately needed.