Sheriff David Clarke announced in May that he would be joining the Department of Homeland Security, but he has changed his mind and rescinded his acceptance of that post, it was announced late Saturday.
Clarke had announced on a radio program that President Donald Trump offered him a position and that he would be leaving his duties as sheriff to become an assistant secretary in DHS’s Office of Public Engagement.
His statement left many speculating as to what led to his change of heart.
“Sheriff Clarke is 100% committed to the success of President Trump, and believes his skills could be better utilized to promote the President’s agenda in a more aggressive role,” said Craig J. Peterson, Clarke’s advisor.
“Last Tuesday Sheriff Clarke met with President Trump and discussed other roles where the Sheriff could be of greater assistance to the President, and the Country,” he continued. “The Sheriff is reviewing options inside and outside of government.”
After his announcement, CNN published accusations that he had committed plagiarism in his master’s thesis, but the charges had to do with insufficient citation, not wholesale literary theft, leading some to accuse CNN of exaggerating their scoop.
Clarke responded by calling CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski, who discovered the scoop, a “sleezebag” on his social media account. “This @CNN hack @KFILE oppo research MO is to accuse plagiarism. I’m next. Did it to Rand Paul, Monica Crowley et al,” he added.
— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) May 20, 2017
Some speculated the plagiarism charges led to his decision to turn down Trump’s offer at Homeland Security, as similar claims from Kaczynski appeared to cost Fox News contributor Monica Crowley a position in Trump’s administration.
Clarke had also been criticized for deaths at his jails, including a mentally impaired man who died from dehydration.