Self-proclaimed DHS candidate Sheriff David Clarke reportedly plagiarized the ACLU for his master's thesis

Sheriff David Clarke
(Image credit: Mike Theiler/Getty Images)

Controversial Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who claimed this past week he accepted a high-level position in the Department of Homeland Security, plagiarized multiple portions of his master's thesis in 2013, CNN reported Saturday night. The paper earned him a degree in security studies at the Naval Postgraduate School, which told CNN it will conduct an investigation.

CNN's KFile found 47 instances of improperly attributed language, with passages quoted verbatim from cited sources but not designated as quotes using either quotation marks or indented text. Among the documents the Trump campaign surrogate copied were multiple reports from the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as former President George W. Bush's book, Decision Points.

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Clarke responded on Twitter by suggesting the CNN report is a partisan attempt to undermine his career. He retweeted a post arguing that because the sources were cited, it does not matter whether the quotes were presented as Clarke's own words.

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DHS has not confirmed Clarke's claim of a job offer. As The Washington Post's Radley Balko has documented at length, Clarke's tenure at Milwaukee County has been marked by allegations of "abuse and neglect at his jail." One inmate in the county jail died of "profound dehydration" after guards cut off his access to water for a week. In another case, a woman was forced to give birth alone, without medical assistance, in her cell. Her lawsuit says guards "laughed at her" when she begged for help, and her baby died shortly after birth.

Clarke has also recommended "rounding up American citizens who 'sympathize' with terrorists and sending them to the prison at Guantanamo Bay without a trial or hearing," estimating 1 million such arrests are necessary. His master's thesis was entitled, "Making U.S. security and privacy rights compatible."

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