David Clarke Could Lose His Graduate Degree if He Doesn't Revise His Thesis, CNN Reports

Sep. 15, 2017
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Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Though it's a drop in the bucket compared to his reckless rhetoric and the four deaths that occurred under his watch at the Milwaukee County Jail, one of the odder blotches on former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke's record is the allegation that he plagiarized portions of his 2013 master's thesis for the Naval Postgraduate School, "Making U.S. security and privacy rights compatible.”

According to a CNN report in May, Clarke lifted language wholesale for that thesis from a variety of sources, including the 9/11 Commission Report, the Washington Post and even former President George W. Bush's book Decision Points. Because in part because of the baggage surrounding him, Clarke was denied a position at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security this spring.

It seems that the Naval Postgraduate School has taken those plagiarism allegations seriously. In a new report published this afternoon, CNN KFile writes that Clarke must revise his master's thesis or risk losing his security studies degree. Citing records obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request, CNN reports, “The Naval Postgraduate School's dean of students, Cdr. Paul Rasmussen, wrote in a July letter to Clarke obtained by KFile that he concurred with a finding of an 'Honor Code Board' that the thesis was 'in violation' of the school's honor code.” The letter reportedly informed Clarke that he had 100 days (until Oct. 23) to resubmit his thesis, though it also offered him an extension of 100 days should he request it.

It's been a roller-coaster year for Clarke. Last month Clarke resigned as sheriff and announced he was accepting a position at the pro-Trump super PAC American First Action. Reports later emerged that Clarke had been in consideration for an official position in the Trump administration, but was denied it because of the objections of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

“Kelly’s position as chief of staff made the arrangement a 'non-starter,' as one senior White House official put it,” as the Daily Beast reported. “Earlier this year, while serving as DHS Secretary, Kelly had informed Clarke that an appointment to that department would not happen in part due to scandal surrounding the treatment of inmates in Clarke’s jail, and the ensuing negative media attention.”

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