David Clarke, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sheriff who has been chosen by Donald Trump to serve on the Department of Homeland Security, was discovered to have plagiarized sections of his master’s thesis four years ago. The topic of the thesis was United States security. The plagiarization was reported by CNN.
According to CNN, Clarke failed to properly cite his sources 47 times in the document, which was titled “Making U.S. Security and Privacy Rights Compatible.” Despite the issues with the thesis, Clarke received a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in northern California.
Clarke was found to have used language from numerous sources that he credits with footnotes. The Naval Postgraduate School requires that anything that is used verbatim must be presented within quotation marks and attributed with a citation. Material that is presented without proper attribution is considered a violation of the school’s honor code.
Clarke has drawn ire in the past for his remarks regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, which he referred to as “Black Lies Matter.” He was also a controversial figure in the case of a Milwaukee County Jail inmate who died after allegedly being forced to live without water for a week.
The sheriff refused to comment directly to CNN on the matter but tweeted that he thought the story was written by a “hack.” He later told the Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper that the accusation of plagiarism was politically motivated.
Clint Phillips, a lieutenant commander at the Naval Postgraduate School, said the institution takes plagiarism very seriously and will pull the thesis for an independent investigation.