War of words between Sheriff Clarke, County Board over audit

MILWAUKEE -- There's a new battle being waged in the war of words between Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik.

Jursik authored a resolution that passed in February which calls for an audit of how the sheriff uses federal funds garnered from things like drug busts and other seizures. Another supervisor commented that Milwaukee County government is turning into a big mosh pit where people are just slamming into each other.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Mark Borkowski says the infighting between county politicians this election year is getting out of hand. County budget cuts to the sheriff's department, mandated layoffs and the sheriff's rejection of some programs is creating conflict.

"It's getting to the point the last couple months, I don't know if we're doing the people's business. All we're doing is fighting amongst everybody in this building," Borkowski said Tuesday.

The most recent sniping is over a county audit of the sheriff's department, approved by the Milwaukee County Board more than a month ago. Specifically, Supervisor Jursik asked the audit board to look at how the sheriff used $200,000 in federal money from drug seizures and forfeitures.

Borkowski is in favor of the audit. However, he said, "I think any audit in any capacity is a good thing, and taxpayers should say 'yeah let's audit it.' Now, do I personally think there's something wrong in that audit? Absolutely not."

Jursik would not comment on her resolution Tuesday.

Sheriff Clarke refused to comment for this news story.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele released a statement, saying in part, "Since taking office, I've had a concern about the lack of transparency in how the sheriff handles the budget. I'm happy the County Board has joined me in my concern. Please don't mistake this as a swipe at the sheriff or an allegation."