Sheriff Clarke accuses Abele & others of “playing politics with his budget”
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and others are conspiring against him to damage his chances of reelection. This, after a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about deputy overtime.
Sheriff Clarke says Abele is playing politics with his budget — but Abele says this isn’t political or personal.
Sheriff Clarke talked publicly on Monday, April 21st, after the Journal Sentinel reported several deputies received tens of thousands of dollars in overtime pay in 2013.
“Cutting public safety resources like Abele and Barrett have, and the Sentinel Journal endorses, is simply moronic,” Sheriff Clarke said.
Sheriff Clarke has recently wanted to add 137 deputies.
“Abele has decimated public safety by creating a structural budget deficit in attempt to assist in upcoming campaign issue. Playing politics with the public safety budget is reckless,” Sheriff Clarke said.
“Everybody cares about public safety. It’s not politics. It’s not personal. It’s not a movie. It’s about responsible leadership and about delivering services to the public, and it means working together,” Abele said.
Abele says Clarke’s budget is 60% higher than it was in 2001, and departments all across the state are working with smaller budgets than they’d like.
“People shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the Sheriff’s Department is still about 24 percent of the entire tax levy. He has enormous resources to work with,” Abele said.
Sheriff Clarke blames his deficit on cuts since Abele took office — saying he hasn’t added a deputy since 2002.
“I’ve been through election year politics before and I’m ready for it again. In my time as Sheriff I have balanced every budget and in most situations, turned back surpluses to the taxpayers of this county,” Sheriff Clarke said.
“I mean that stuff I say about civility and respect and about us all working together — at the same point, at the same way I say ‘hold me accountable.’ I think we should hold people accountable who make it difficult to work together,” Abele said.
Sheriff Clarke finished his statement Monday by saying public safety will be upheld, regardless of whether he has the resources or not.
NOTE: Our original writing of this story mentioned the Sheriff’s Office tax levy was 42 percent. That information was provided by the Milwaukee County Executive’s Office — and was incorrect. As noted in our story above, the tax levy for the Sheriff’s Office is actually 24 percent.