Controversial Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who has said he will be joining Donald Trump’s administration as assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, plagiarized sections of his 2013 master’s thesis on U.S. security, reports CNN. Clarke, a visible surrogate for Trump during the campaign known for his incendiary rhetoric, earned a master’s degree in security studies at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Ca. “Making U.S. security and privacy rights compatible,” Clarke failed to attribute sources properly at least 47 times. Clarke lifts language from sources and credits them with a footnote, but does not indicate with quotation marks that he is taking the words verbatim.
According to guidelines posted on the Naval Postgraduate School’s website, “If a passage is quoted verbatim, it must be set off with quotation marks … 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.” Sources Clarke plagiarized include several American Civil Liberties Union reports, and a report from the U.S. General Accounting Office. Clarke told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Only someone with a political agenda would say this is plagiarism.”