A Milwaukee County chief medical examiner Thursday revealed striking details about sheriff David Clarke, telling the Milwauke-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel the sheriff—who moonlit as a Donald Trump surrogate during the presidential campaign—“verbally pummeled” and “threatened” him for disclosing routine information about the deaths of four people at the Milwaukee County Jail.
Clarke’s reign as overseer of Milwaukee county jail has come under fire recently as rumor spread that the controversial sheriff is being considered to take over the Department of Homeland Security. Since April, four people—including a newborn baby—have died while in Milwaukee county jail custody.
Chief medical examiner Brian Peterson said Clarke called him despondent over information the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office made public earlier this year, including a finding that one of the jail’s victims, 38-year old Terrill Thomas, suffered from “profound dehydration” while incarcerated.
"I haven't been talked to like that since I was probably 5,” Peterson sold the Journal Sentinel.
In an email to his bosses, Peterson wrote that "Sheriff Clarke’s attitude was hostile, his mood was angry, and my attempts to mollify him were rudely rebuffed.” The medical examiner said Clarke repeatedly made threats agains this medical license.
One of Clarke's top aides, Inspector Richard Schmidt, denied Peterson’s allegations. "The sheriff recorded the conversation with Dr. Peterson, and the sheriff looks forward to any additional comments of any alleged threats that Dr. Peterson claims were made," Schmidt wrote in an email.
Clarke declined to provide a copy of his recording, telling the Journal Sentinel, “no thanks.”