Controversial Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke resigns

David A. Clarke Resigns As Milwaukee County Sheriff: Report

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has resigned, county clerk George Christenson confirmed to TPM Thursday.

Clarke has been a frequent guest at conservative events around the country and on cable TV, which critics have argued has taken his attention away from his duties as sheriff.

Clarke submitted his resignation to the Milwaukee County clerk, noting in his letter that it would be effective as of 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

Watch County Executive Chris Abele's reaction to Sheriff Clarke's resignation below.

It remains unclear what Clarke will do next.

The sheriff could not immediately be reached for comment.

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The tough-talking, cowboy hat-wearing firebrand made himself a darling of the political right through his brash social media presence, his staunch support for Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration and his support for patrolling Muslim neighborhoods. Clarke had previously accepted a middle-management job in Trump's Department of Homeland Security, only to rescind that decision weeks later without explanation. But as Nick Wing explained at HuffPost, the number of deaths is highly unusual: "Based on an analysis of The Huffington Post's jail death database, other jails that have four deaths in a year are several times the size of Clarke's downtown jail site, which has a capacity of 960".

Conservative groups have called on Clarke to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin in 2018, but he has rejected that suggestion. He later withdrew his name.

Clarke was one of the few African-Americans to speak at the Republican National Convention past year.

Clark has been sheriff of Milwaukee County since 2002 and spent more than two decades before that with the city's police department.

This is a developing story.

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