Civil Asset Forfeiture

Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office Used Asset Forfeiture Funds to Buy Flat-Screen TVs, Segways, Training From Disney


Ever wonder exactly what local law enforcement agencies do with all the money they seize under federal and local asset forfeiture laws? The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office has used it to buy:

…workout equipment for Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr.'s command staff, customer training for 50 employees through a Disney program and a mounted patrol unit, a county audit released Friday shows.

The tab for the workout gear came to $11,400; the Disney Destinations training cost $24,900; and more than $77,000 went for horse rental, boarding and transport for the sheriff's mounted patrol. A $43,000 Dodge Ram pickup bought in 2008 to haul the horses was the largest portion of the mounted patrol spending from the fund, the report says.

The funds also have paid for a wide assort ment of vehicles and watercraft, uniforms and equipment, including $8,200 for nine flat-screen televisions for top sheriff command staff and $12,340 for "high performance metal detectors" to screen deputies and other sheriff's employees before meetings with Clarke for disciplinary hearings, the report says.

The Institute for Justice dug through the audit, and notes the department also bought two Segways at a cost of $14,500. The audit found that while "none of the spending violated federal rules governing asset forfeiture money…it did run afoul of county procurement rules."

Via Americans for Forfeiture Reform.

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  1. . . . and $12,340 for “high performance metal detectors” to screen deputies and other sheriff’s employees before meetings with Clarke for disciplinary hearings, the report says.

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    1. See, they put $1,234 on the line but someone pointed out that it looked made up. So they put a 0 on the end to make it look less made up.

      1. I’m just appalled that this guy feels he needs to be protected form his own people this way.

    2. The quote they got from the TSA was $44759, so they were actually being frugal here.

    3. So he doesn’t trust these guys with a gun in his presence, but he lets them walk the streets all tooled up?

  2. Mounted patrol units are ridiculous.

    Some City of Houston mounted cops wanted to turn around, so they drove their horse trailer through my dad’s circular drive. That enormous thing busted up the brickwork along the driveway. While he didn’t expect a reimbursement, my dad got the cop’s business card so he could at least try.

    That was the fanciest business card I have ever seen – embossed, metallic ink, lots of colors.

  3. …it did run afoul of county procurement rules.

    Which ain’t gonna stop the theft, just change what they buy with it.

  4. Wow, am I supposed to be impressed by the four stars on his shoulder board? This symbolizm is getting out of hand. I saw a Tennessee sheriff on a PBSshow the other night sporting five stars!

    1. If you’re going to behave like a high-up in the North Korean government, you might as well dress the part.

  5. I, too, was impressed by his fear and distrust of his subordinates.

  6. transport for the sheriff’s mounted patrol.

    I thought the whole point of horses was that they were self-transporting.

    Although, I expect 90% of the miles on that shiny new Dodge pickup are not horse-related, so I guess it works out.

  7. That dude sure looks like the Martian Manhunter from Smallville.
    Does he have any superpowers besides making taxpayer money disappear?

  8. Always nice to see stolen money go to good use lol.

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