Milwaukee County prosecutors opened the secret John Doe criminal investigation more than two years ago after being stonewalled by Gov. Scott Walker's office when he was county executive, according to a newly released record.
The document appears to cast doubt on some of Walker's claims about his role in launching and cooperating with the investigation.Well, it might be. Or it might be they were getting awfully nervous about what the DA's office was looking for.
On May 5, 2010, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf filed a petition with court officials asking if his office could initiate a secret investigation into what happened with $11,000 in donations intended for Operation Freedom, an annual event honoring veterans.
By making it a secret John Doe investigation, Landgraf wrote that prosecutors might get better cooperation from Walker's office, which had been "unwilling or unable" to turn over records and information needed in the investigation. He said he would need to subpoena county records and officials.
"It may be the County Executive's Office is reluctant to provide information to investigators due to a fear of political embarrassment," Landgraf wrote, noting that Walker was then running for governor.
A while ago, I was forwarded an interesting link. What it showed was that an investigator was replicating all of the documents found on the server used by the county executive's website, months before the John Doe was initiated.
My guess is that, giving Walker the benefit of the doubt - which I realize he doesn't deserve, the DA's Office was already finding suspicious things. Some of the documents they were looking to replicate went all they way back to at least 2006 and continued until as recently as this past April.
The replications look to be very meticulous and exhaustive in their scope.
(I am purposely leaving the link out of the post to prevent trolls from accessing it and trying to sabotage the investigation.)
My reckoning on what all this means is thus:
Just before Walker "asked" for the DA to look into the missing money from the veterans fund, people were asking some uncomfortable questions. In fact, the Ethics Board had brought up the issue regarding whether the control of the fund should be in the executive's office.
So they had Tim Russell set up the fake charity group, as outlined in the criminal complaint against him, and Walker transferred the money to that group. This way, it appeared to be independently controlled, but Walker's fingers were still in the middle of it. He wanted to keep control of it all, because he was using Operation Freedom as a government-sponsored campaign event.
When they thought there subterfuge was complete, over a year after they found the money missing, the went to the DA's office to set up Kevin Kavanaugh as their patsy. When Kavanaugh got busted, then Walker would use that as a campaign slogan, saying how he was tough on crime.
|Russell has carried more|
than just water for Walker.
That's when the DA started replicating all of the executive office's files and documents. It's probably also how they found out that some of the documents had been destroyed and got Darlene Wink to cooperate with how they destroyed the digital evidence.
So, in summary, while Walker could technically argue that he "asked" for the investigation to happen, his felonious ways, his corruption, his malfeasance and his unearned hubris had him really ask for it. And now he's about to really get it. Perhaps he should have listened more to the old adage of "be careful of what you wish for, for you just might get it."
Even if, God forbid, he should survive the recall, he's already lost.
ADDENDUM: Team Walker has confirmed that they are going to try to use Kavanaugh as their scapegoat. Realizing he's in trouble, Walker does what he always does and runs to squawker Charlie Sykes with his excuse, only to support what I wrote:
Mr. Chisholm stated at the announcement of the charges that his office launched the John Doe investigation in May 2010 after being request by the Milwaukee County Executive's office. The County Executive's'Nuff said.
office was unable to provide documentation because all documents pertaining to the financial discrepancies were in possession of Kevin Kavanaugh while he was treasurer of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Multiple requests were made by the County Executive's staff for documentation from Mr. Kavanaugh, as reported by the media, without success thus the County Executive's office requested the district attorney to investigate.
"Governor Walker had his Chief of Staff request the Milwaukee County District Attorney investigate financial discrepancies that his staff discovered with a veterans organization running an annual event. Multiple
follow ups were made by the chief of staff to the district attorney's office to offer assistance in
that investigation and any statement to the contrary is not correct."
Additionally, the documents sited by Mr. Bice do not claim County Executive Scott Walker's office was "stonewalling" attempts to collect information but the office was either "unwilling or unable" to provide said information. As made clear with the above information, the county executives office was "unable" to provide the information requested, not "stonewalling" Mayor Barrett alleges.