June 18 (UPI) -- Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, won't accept a position in the Department of Homeland Security, an adviser said.
In May, Clarke said he would become an assistant secretary as a liaison with state, local and tribal law enforcement in the DHS Office of Partnership and Engagement starting later in June.
"Late Friday, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. formally notified Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly that he had rescinded his acceptance of the agency's offer to join DHS as an assistant secretary," said Craig Peterson, an adviser to Clarke. "Sheriff Clarke is 100 percent committed to the success of President Trump and believes his skills could be better utilized to promote the president's agenda in a more aggressive role."
A Washington Post source said his appointment had been subject to significant delays.
In the tentative job offer obtained by the newspaper, it says the appointment is subject to final approval by the Office of Personnel Management. The position doesn't require Senate approval.
Clarke backed Trump on the campaign trail, spoke during prime time at the Republican Convention and is a frequent surrogate for the president on news shows.
The sheriff has previously generated controversy. Clarke failed to properly attribute sources at least 47 times in his 2013 master's thesis on national security, according to a CNN report from May 21.
Last year, a grand jury recommended criminal charges against staff members at Milwaukee County jail in connection with the death of an inmate.
Juliette Kayyem, the assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs at the department during the Obama administration, wrote on Twitter last month: "Clarke is taking my old position under Obama. I am floored. And feel for my career staff."
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, also was critical of the selection. Last month she posted on Twitter: "Sheriff David Clarke's unconscionable record makes him unfit to serve. This appointment is a disgrace."
Last Tuesday, Clarke met with Trump in suburban Milwaukee on Tuesday, according to Peterson, and they discussed other roles for the sheriff.
"The sheriff is reviewing options inside and outside of government," Peterson said. "Sheriff Clarke told Secretary Kelly he is very appreciative of the tremendous opportunity the secretary was offering, and expressed his support for the secretary and the agency."