Findings released from audit of Milwaukee Co. Sheriff's Office

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee County Board has requested an audit of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. The findings weren't shocking, but the audit showed where taxpayers could save money. Meanwhile, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says he feels there was more behind the review.

In 103 pages, the Milwaukee County Office of the Comptroller laid out its informational audit of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. It was generated at the County Board's request.

"We are reactionary saying 'hey, it seems to be some issues here. Let's have audit and take a look at it,'" Milwaukee County Board Supervisor Mark Borkowski said.

The report implies Sheriff Clare is maintaining the office efficiently, however, it identified and evaluated mandated and discretionary services.

"It's talked about some cost savings -- maybe some ancillary things as far as what the Sheriff does, like the K-9 unit or target support enforcement," Borkowski said.

The audit pointed out some of the non-mandated services included park patrols, transit and airport security. In all the costs of the so-called discretionary services total nearly $4 million in taxpayer money. Sheriff Clarke says those services are vital to keeping citizens safe.

"It's not under my discretion to keep the peace in Milwaukee County -- to play a law enforcement role to protect the residents of Milwaukee County. That's not discretionary and it won`t be as long as I occupy this office," Sheriff Clarke said.

Sheriff Clarke didn't mind the audit, but feels it was politically motivated.

"Every one of those things that was brought up, Chris Abele has tried to eliminate from under my authority or responsibility," Sheriff Clarke said.

Clarke believes the duties taken on are justifiable and says the County Executive should look at his own budget issues instead of trying to micro-manage his.

"I don`t work for Chris Abele. I report directly to people. I`m independently elected. He doesn`t get to say what goes on in this office," Borkowski said.

Overall, some County Board members feel the audit wasn't a futile effort and believe this information can hopefully be utilized by another sheriff somewhere down the road.