Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Audit Targets Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department Spending Of Drug Money Seizure

Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr.

County Board audit targeting specific expenditures by Sheriff Clarke Jr.

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 7, 2012

Milwaukee - On Friday, the Milwaukee County Board approved a resolution for an audit targeted at Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department spending of drug money seizures and $200,000 federal forfeiture funds. Last month, the County Board approved an audit for the Sheriff's Department, but Supervisor Patricia Jursik who sponsored Friday's resolution wants to know how Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. spends drug seizure money and federal forfeiture funds.
In 2009, Sheriff Clarke Jr. approved spending more than $43,000 of drug seizure money for new five star badges. Clarke Jr. does have legal discretion on how he spends forfeiture funds.
Since last year, Sheriff Clarke Jr. has been complaining that his budget funds for 2012 have been reduced and last month had to permanently layoff 68 deputies. About 20 of those 68 deputies including supervisors retired and reduced the layoffs to 48 deputies who lost their jobs.
Currently, about an estimated 252 deputies and supervisors remained in active duty after last months position cuts compared to 692 deputies that were employed in 2002 by the Sheriff's Department.
The County Board and Abele approved $13 million in cuts from the 2012 sheriff's office to help offset the county budget deficit.
Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Executive pushed for the audit to provide transparency in the Milwaukee County budget. But since Abele taking office, the Sheriff's Department has lacked transparency, according to Abele.
Sheriff Clarke Jr. has not made any comment concerning an audit on his department.

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