MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- Our affiliate, WISN, is reporting Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is leaving the Sheriff's Office to become deputy secretary of Department of Homeland Security.
Clarke will be a liaison to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies.
“It's going to be a huge learning curve for me. I'm going to get in there and figure out the landscape earn the people. I'll be developing who I have interplay with. And then figure out, after I talk with Secretary Kelly, figure out a strategy to create this better liaison between the Department of Homeland Security and our state and local partners."
Clarke made the announcement Wednesday afternoon on Vicki McKenna's show on WISN radio.
Rumors have been swirling since Donald Trump was elected president even as recent as last week when Clarke's name was mentioned for a FBI director.
Clarke said he told Gov. Scott Walker a couple of months ago that he might be leaving, but has not spoken to him this week.
" I have to retire from law enforcement," Clarke said. "But I won't have to abandon it totally."
The job of replacing David Clarke as sheriff in Milwaukee County will fall to Gov. Scott Walker.
Walker spokesman Tom Evenson says once Clarke submits his resignation letter the process of appointing a successor can begin.
Whoever Walker picks will serve the remainder of Clarke's term, which runs through the end of 2018. There is an election in 2018 for the full four-year sheriff's term.
Former Milwaukee police captain Earnell Lucas is running and says he will ask Walker to appoint him. Milwaukee County Circuit Judge John Siefert also says he plans to run in 2018. Both are Democrats.