Monday, August 3, 2015

How Scott Walker Caused The John Doe Investigation

As I recently wrote, Cindy Archer, a long time aide and friend to Scott Walker, had filed a frivolous lawsuit regarding the John Doe investigation into Walker and his gang of crooks.

Walker is probably really wishing that Archer never filed that lawsuit because not only did she get burned by it, but Walker is being dragged down with her.

But first a little backstory.

When Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, he started a thinly-veiled campaign stunt he called "Operation Freedom." "Operation Freedom" was supposed to be a charity fund that Walker used to honor veterans by giving them and their families a free day at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Despite it supposedly being for the veterans, Walker used the opportunity to tell people how great he was.

In 2008, a Walker aide noticed that there was money missing from the fund. Walker sent his then Chief of Staff, Tom Nardelli, to the District Attorney's office to file a complaint and ask for an investigation.

Eventually, two Walker aides, Kevin Kavanaugh and Tim Russell, were charged, tried and convicted for embezzling money from the fund. (Some of the money Russell stole from the fund went to pay for Walker's campaign websites.)

During Russell's trial, an interesting tidbit came up. The John Doe investigation was originally started when Walker started stonewalling the investigation that he originally asked for:
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.
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.
Well, it might be. Or it might be they were getting awfully nervous about what the DA's office was looking for.
Which brings up to Archer's lawsuit.

In their response to Archer's lawsuit, the John Doe investigators confirmed that Walker was indeed trying to obstruct the investigation that he had asked for:
On Friday, two of the defendants, chief investigator David Budde and investigator Robert Stelter, filed a response. In it, they reaffirmed that the John Doe investigation began after one of Walker’s top staff reported funds missing from “Operation Freedom,” an annual event held by Walker’s office to thank veterans for their military service.

They said the secret probe was necessary only because Walker’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.”

“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,” they argued.
While the John Doe investigation known as Walkergate was originally started to investigation into the theft from the veterans/campaign fund, it quickly expanded as investigators found evidence of illegal politicking, illegal donations and bid rigging.

Investigators also found evidence of the illegal collaboration between Walker and dark money groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity.

Is it any wonder why Walker and his dark money masters went all out to kill the investigation?

Fortunatley, while they might have stopped the investigation - at least on the state level - but they cannot conceal the depth of their corruption.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Blaska - what's your excuse for Walker this time big guy?