Friday, September 01, 2006

David Clarke busted

The cover of the current Shepherd Express reprints an order firing David Clarke from the Milwaukee police force in 1983.

That must have been before Clarke, now the righteous, God-fearing Milwaukee County sheriff, got religion. The charges say he was drunk and insubordinate -- something he'd certainly never stand for from one of his deputies. He tries to fire them if their shoes aren't shiny enough (not really, but practically.)

Clarke appealed and kept his job, although he was punished. And the taxpayers probably paid his salary while he appealed.

This would be more clear-cut if Harold Breier hadn't been the police chief, and if Clarke wasn't African-American, at a time when black officers were still being badly treated by the department. But if Clarke thought they were out to get him, he should have been smart enough and disciplined enough not to give them the opportunity. No one claims the charges were trumped-up; he just got the penalty reduced.

It's a front page story in the Shepherd. Will any other news outlet touch it?


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