Sheriff David Clarke reportedly plagiarized parts of his master's thesis

David ClarkeDavid Clarke (Flickr)Sheriff David Clarke oversees the Milwaukee County Jail.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who recently said he has accepted a position as assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, plagiarized at least 47 parts of his master’s thesis, CNN’s KFile reported on Saturday.

Clarke, a controversial figure and prominent Trump surrogate during the 2016 presidential campaign, received his master’s degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in California.

Clarke currently oversees the Milwaukee County Jail, where one newborn baby and three inmates have died since April 2016. Their deaths are being investigated, and prosecutors say one of the inmates died from dehydration after jail staff cut off water access to his cell.

In each plagiarized section of Clarke’s thesis, he appears to have attributed sources in footnotes but failed to use quotation marks around language that was lifted verbatim or partially verbatim.

According to the Naval Postgraduate School’s academic integrity policy, quotation marks are required for language that has been taken verbatim from a source:

“Whenever you make use of another person’s distinctive ideas, information, or words, you must give credit. If a passage is quoted verbatim, it must be set off with quotation marks (or, if it is a longer passage, presented as indented text), and followed by a properly formulated citation. The length of the phrase does not matter. If someone else’s words are sufficiently significant to be worth quoting, then accurate quotation followed by a correct citation is essential, even if only a few words are involved.”

Clarke’s thesis, “Making US security and privacy rights compatible,” appears to have been removed from the Naval Postgraduate School’s website, but is still available via online databases.

Clarke took to Twitter on Saturday before CNN had published its story, calling reporter Andrew Kaczynski a “hack” and a “sleaze bag.”



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