WI Medical Examiner Says Sheriff Clarke Threatened Him

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Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has been largely silent in public about the deaths of four people at the Milwaukee County Jail since April, even though his office oversees the jail. Clarke been doing some yelling behind the scenes, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Brian Peterson, Milwaukee County chief medical examiner, said yesterday that the sheriff called him on Oct. 28 and “verbally pummeled” and “threatened” him over information that Peterson’s office made public regarding the deaths of two inmates at the jail. Peterson said his office followed appropriate protocol in the cases cited by the sheriff.

Even so, Clarke said he would be contacting the state Medical Examining Board to have Peterson sanctioned or his license revoked. “I haven’t been talked to like that since I was probably 5,” Peterson said. Peterson documented the hostile 20-minute conversation a day later in a lengthy email to Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.  Clarke, who is under consideration for a high-level post in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, declined to comment on his conversation with Peterson or to make available a copy of his recording of the conversation. Peterson said Clarke was “furious” that the medical examiner had released information on a “non-disclosure” case, accusing Peterson of “political activism.” Peterson said his office said little more than that a death had occurred and that his office was investigating, which he said was consistent with the state open records law.

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