Thanks to a legal filing by Cindy Archer, former top aide to then Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, we now have more information on how the first John Doe Probe was born. It turns out that the John Doe Probe became necessary because of the lack of cooperation and obstruction by Walker's own office.
We have known that it started with an investigation into money missing from the accounts of Operation Freedom which provided services to families of veterans. This money, formerly handled by an American Legion Post, was ordered to be transferred to a group controlled by one of his aides by Scott Walker. After the transfer and with the funds now in the control of the Walker aide, money started to go missing. Walkers Chief of Staff, Tom Nardelli, went to the Milwaukee County District Attorney to ask for an investigation.
It was during this investigation that other irregularities were found involving possible illegal campaigning in government offices, bid rigging, and improper campaign contributions along with possible violations of Wisconsin Open Records laws (yes, even back then Walker was avoiding scrutiny). And this, we have been told is what led to the original John Doe Probe.
So, what's new today that we didn't know?
"The County Executive's Office was uncooperative and obstructed the District Attorney's Office's efforts to obtain documentation of the County's receipt and disbursement of donations from Operation Freedom," the filing from two investigators in Chisholm's office reads. "As a consequence, the District Attorney's Office was forced to petition a John Doe proceeding in order to have legal mechanisms to obtain relevant documentation from the County Executive's Office."
(bolding is mine)
That's right. It was Walkers own actions of not cooperating and even obstructing the investigation that created the need for the John Doe Probe in the first place.
The hypocrisy thickens.
Those of us who remember the original JD know that all Walker talked about was how "cooperative" he was with the DAs office and about how much Walker, the well known micromanager, "didn't know" what was going on mere feet from his desk. And as 6 of his closest aides and associates were indicted and convicted he kept repeating those claims.
Despite the "smoking gun" email, Walker continued to express ignorance of what was going on in his office.
"We cannot afford another story like this one," Walker wrote in the email, quoted in the criminal complaint that came out Thursday. "No one can give them any reason to do another story. That means no laptops, no websites, no time away during the workday, etc."
The email, sent to Tim Russell (who had installed the secret router that Walker aides used to clandestinely do campaign work and fundraising when they were supposed to be doing Milwaukee County government business), says that Walker knew exactly what was going on. Russell, who no longer worked in the County Executives Office at that time, was contacted to clean up the mess.
And now Walkers other meme - that he cooperated with the DAs office - has fallen apart, too.
He's left with only 1 talking point now. "I was never charged". And, with the massive amount of evidence we've seen, I wonder how he got away without an indictment.
Don't worry about Walker, though. His super PAC just reported $20 million sweet dollars in the bank to be used to propagandize the voters and the billionaires he serves so well will keep the bucks rolling in.
And, I'm sure, he's developing another line of BS to use in case he gets asked about these revelations. It's unlikely, however, since the Saturday edition of the newspaper is the least read. Ditto weekend local news casts.