With fame comes more speaking fees for Milwaukee sheriff

AP News
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Posted: Feb 02, 2017 5:34 PM
With fame comes more speaking fees for Milwaukee sheriff

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke earned more than $105,000 for speaking engagements last year — nearly quadrupling his yield from 2015 — as he became nationally known as one of the most vocal supporters of President Donald Trump.

Documents reviewed by The Associated Press Thursday show Clarke was in high demand in 2016 and was invited to speak at more than three dozen events across the country.

In 2015, Clarke earned $27,400 for speaking engagements. Clarke makes $132,000 as sheriff.

The financial records, disclosed by Clarke annually to Milwaukee County's Ethics Board, illustrate his rise as a national figure embraced by conservatives for his unapologetic, sometimes confrontational, style of talking. He was one of the few African-Americans to speak at the Republican convention last year and has been critical of the Black Lives Matters movement.

The 2016 records were submitted to the county on Monday and Clarke posted them on his Facebook page as the media became aware of them. His office declined further comment.

Some examples of Clarke's 2016 speaking engagements:

— "The New Majority," a conservative group, paid Clarke $15,000 on Oct. 5 to speak at a Los Angeles event.

— Women of Washington paid Clarke a $7,500 honorarium to be the keynote speaker for a July 26 event in Seattle.

— The U.S. Concealed Carry Association gave Clarke $5,000 to speak at an April 29 even in Atlanta.

Clarke was provided gifts and his travel was often covered. Including his speaking fees, he received over $220,100 to participate at events in 2016. In 2015, he received more than $124,500 in gifts, travel expenses, speaking fees, and media interviews.

In 2014, when he successfully ran for re-election, he participated in three events including two with the National Rifle Association, but he received no payment for speaking.