Acting Milwaukee County Sheriff Richard Schmidt and former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke traded accusations regarding who was responsible for the problems at the Milwaukee County Jail on the Dan O’Donnell Show on WISN-AM on Monday.
O’Donnell had Schmidt on to explain the improvements in the conditions of the jail. Conditions at the Milwaukee County Jail became an issue in 2016-17 when four inmates died while Clarke was sheriff. Three more inmates have died since Clarke’s resignation to take a position with a SuperPAC supporting President Donald Trump.
At one point, O’Donnell asked Schmidt what was the situation when he took over as acting sheriff on September 1, 2017.
“I go back to my mantra,” Schmidt said. “Everything rises and falls on leadership. If you don’t have the right people running the facility, you’re going to have issues.”
Clarke then called the station after the Schmidt interview to object to what he perceived as a slight by Schmidt. “I think it was a political cheap shot,” Clarke said. “I think it was political opportunity to enhance his own image.”
Clarke then claimed Schmidt was in charge of the day-to-day operation of the jail when Clarke was sheriff, but Schmidt allegedly never told Clarke about any of the problems.
O’Donnell told Clarke that he didn’t think that Schmidt was referring to him, but one of those indicted for one of the deaths at the jail. “If he’s talking about Nancy Evans, he put Nancy Evans in that position,” Clarke said.
Schmidt then called back, claiming that he loves and respects Clarke, but Clarke was informed about the deaths at the jail. O’Donnell put them both on the air to argue the point. Clarke then said Schmidt should just admit that he was responsible for the operation of the jail, not Clarke.
Schmidt, after saying he ran the whole sheriff’s department under Clarke, said he made the recommendation to Clarke to remove the person in charge of the jail multiple times but that Clarke did not go along with it.
Clarke disagreed, saying he never disagreed with any of Schmidt’s recommendations, denied that Schmidt made the recommendation, and said Schmidt had the authority to make the change himself.
You can hear the entire segment beginning at 18:31 or click on the WISN podcast below.