MILWAUKEE — The Latest on the resignation of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (all times local):


6 p.m.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele says the resignation of Sheriff David Clarke is an opportunity “to make some big steps forward” in the department.

Abele repeatedly clashed with Clarke over the years and on Thursday called their relationship “complicated.”

Around the time news broke of Clarke’s resignation, Abele tweeted a gif without comment of former President Barack Obama clapping. But Abele was more restrained while speaking with reporters outside his office.

Abele says that with Clarke’s departure, the county has a chance to improve operations at the jail, where four inmates died last year. One of the inmates died of dehydration and prosecutors are considering criminal charges against some of Clarke’s jail staff in that case.


5:10 p.m.

Milwaukee County’s usually outspoken Sheriff David Clarke isn’t saying much about why he’s resigning.

The conservative, Stetson-wearing Clarke said Thursday that he’s quitting “to pursue other opportunities,” but he’s not saying what they are. Clarke says in an email statement he will “have news about my next steps in the very near future.”

A separate unsigned email sent from his personal account says Clarke will announce his plans after the Labor Day holiday.

Clarke is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump who gained a national following after multiple appearances on conservative talk radio and television programs.

He submitted his resignation on Thursday afternoon. It was scheduled to take effect at midnight. Clarke would have been up for re-election in November 2018.


4:50 p.m.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is being coy about his reasons for resigning abruptly.

Clarke sent a one-sentence letter to the county clerk Thursday announcing his departure, effective at midnight.

A request for comment sent to Clarke’s personal email brought a reply that said only that he “has some exciting new projects to announce after the Labor Day holiday so please check back with us then.”

The Stetson-wearing Clarke is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump who gained a national following after multiple appearances on conservative talk radio and television programs.


4:30 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will appoint a successor to outspoken conservative Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke following his resignation.

Clarke resigned Thursday afternoon without explanation.

The Stetson-wearing Clarke is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump who gained a national following after multiple appearances on conservative talk radio and television programs.

Walker’s spokesman Tom Evenson says the Republican governor will move forward with filling the vacancy once his office receives formal notification of the resignation.

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.

Clarke did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Clarke’s term runs through the end of 2018. He was up for re-election in November 2018.


3:44 p.m.

Outspoken conservative Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has resigned.

Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said Thursday that he received a resignation letter from Clarke. Christenson says the letter doesn’t give the reason for Clarke’s resignation.

Clarke’s spokeswoman did not immediately respond to telephone messages and emails seeking comment.

Clarke rose to national prominence in recent years with provocative social media posts, appearances on conservative media programs and his staunch support of President Donald Trump. Clarke announced in May that he’d taken a job at the Department of Homeland Security, but the agency never confirmed it. He later said he withdrew his name.

Some Wisconsin conservatives had encouraged Clarke to challenge U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, but he repeatedly rejected their overtures.

Clarke recently published a memoir, “Cop Under Fire.”