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Milwaukee County sheriff retains HOC absconder responsibility

By: Eric Heisig//November 12, 2013

Milwaukee County sheriff retains HOC absconder responsibility

By: Eric Heisig//November 12, 2013

The Milwaukee County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to allow Sheriff David Clarke to continue to track and capture those who abscond from House of Correction supervision.

The budget, which was on track to be passed by the full board, kept in the sheriff’s office’s budget more than $450,000 allocated for a five-member unit who track and catch those who flee from electronic monitoring.

That money was kept in Clarke’s coffers by the Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee, which overturned a proposal made by County Executive Chris Abele to transfer the money to the District Attorney’s Office to perform the same duties.

Abele, as well as House of Correction Superintendent Michael Hafemann and Chief Judge Jeffrey Kremers, had complained that Clarke’s deputies were not responding to requests to catch absconders and that the sheriff had demonstrated that he was not a fan of electronic monitoring in general. But the committee gave the money back to Clarke after sheriff’s Chief Deputy Richard Schmidt said in a meeting that deputies would respond to calls from now on.

However, under an amendment passed last week, the county will withhold three-quarters of the money from Clarke until he proves that he will fulfill his duties.


Abele is expected to issue his budget vetoes later this month. Spokesman Brendan Conway said Abele will “look at all the amendments and carefully consider before he vetoes.”

Conway added that transferring the absconder unit to District Attorney John Chisholm’s office had support from Chisholm, Hafemann and Kremers, but their recommendations “were just for some reason ignored by the board.”

“It’s certainly something he’ll look at with making this decision,” Conway said of Abele’s potential veto.

— Follow Eric on Twitter


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