John Doe investigation expands into Wisconsin state governmentThe secret John Doe investigation that has already brought charges against some top aides to Gov. Scott Walker has expanded into state government in Madison, newly released documents suggest.
By: By Mary Spicuzza, The Wisconsin State Journal, Superior Telegram
The secret John Doe investigation that has already brought charges against some top aides to Gov. Scott Walker has expanded into state government in Madison, newly released documents suggest.
The records indicate that the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office has continued its probe, which began while Walker was Milwaukee County executive, beyond the June 5 recall election.
In a public records request in June, Milwaukee County assistant district attorney David Robles asked for personnel records from the governor's office and the state Department of Administration.
The request sought "all records and communications (whether by memorandum, email on whatever account or system or any other method of communication on this subject)" related to the designation and determination of "key professional staff" or "executive salary group 3" from the current administration or the governor's transition team.
Jocelyn Webster, a Walker spokeswoman, said the office had no records responsive to the request but wanted to provide as much information as possible.
"We didn't want to just say, 'no responsive records.' We had a conversation with them," she said.
Webster said there is no one in the governor's office in "executive group 3," which is a designation that would apply to someone other than the chief of staff who makes more than $107,400.
The John Doe investigation already has led to criminal charges against six people, including Walker's former Milwaukee County aides Tim Russell, Kelly Rindfleisch and Darlene Wink.
Russell, who had served as Walker's former campaign aide, deputy chief of staff and county housing director, is accused of embezzling money meant for veterans and using it for personal expenses including trips to Hawaii and the Caribbean.
Other charges have alleged a pattern of illegal fundraising and what appears to be a systemic avoidance of campaign laws by Walker's inner circle, using personal laptop computers and a secret email system. Rindfleisch is charged with felony counts of misconduct in public office, and Wink is charged with two misdemeanor counts of political solicitation by a public employee. Wink has been cooperating with prosecutors.
Both worked for Walker during his time as Milwaukee County executive, and both are accused of fundraising activities while at their taxpayer-funded jobs.
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