Sheriff Clarke says he is unwilling to accept proposed Co. budget

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says he is unwilling to accept a proposed Milwaukee County budget -- saying the budget compromises safety. Meanwhile, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele says he's not taking those words lightly.

"This budget shows a lack of an understanding of what goes on in my office," Sheriff Clarke said.

Sheriff Clarke had harsh words on Tuesday, October 15th over County Executive Abele's proposed 2014 Milwaukee County budget.

"I would call it an attempt to...for the County Executive to micromanage my office," Sheriff Clarke said.

Sheriff Clarke sat before Milwaukee County's Finance Committee on Tuesday.

"Repair this document.  Not for me, but for the people of Milwaukee County," Sheriff Clarke said.

The proposed $1.3 billion budget would cut $12 million from the Sheriff's Office and 69 full-time positions.

"When public safety comes up against a budget, public safety is going to win out," Sheriff Clarke said.

County Executive Abele says the cost-saving measures would not compromise safety.

"I don't do, nor would I make any decisions to the detriment of public safety. We're not throwing darts. This is all targeted and based on one thing and one thing alone and that's the best public safety outcome," County Executive Abele said.

Abele's budget shifts some of the Sheriff's responsibilities, like 911 communications, Lakefront patrols and training to other offices.

"I wouldn't have presented a budget if we didn't feel comfortable that this is moving the ball in the right direction and I feel like we've got a good track record of moving the ball in the right direction," County Executive Abele said.

Both Sheriff Clarke and County Executive Abele insist cooperation is a must -- but disagree on how to reach a compromise.

"You're right. It's a two-way street. Two ways -- my way and their way and we have to meet somewhere in the middle," Sheriff Clarke said.

"That's my job -- not to look for boundaries and fights. It's to look for friends and solutions," County Executive Abele said.

The County Board will hold public hearings on the budget in early November. Supervisors will likely vote on the budget in mid-November.