I diaried yesterday about new revelations in the nearly 2 year old John Doe Probe.
Wisconsin FitzWalkerKochStan Governor Scott Walker continues to deny knowledge of the large political operation hard at work in his Milwaukee County Executive Office. No surprise.
In the court documents, Rindfleisch writes about taking revenge on an unspecified person, but having her plan to do so stopped by Walker. She writes: “I was talking to my friend Villa this week and complaining how he told me that Scott won’t let me do any of the things that I want to do to (expletive) her over.”Kelly Reindfeisch, a top aide to Walker, is charged with 4 felonies for her activities while working in the Milwaukee County Executives office. Her lawyers are currently seeking a change of venue in her trial to a small town outside of Madison which might be more favorable to her.
To this, Walker said Monday: “Again, I have not looked over the details, so ultimately, it’s hard to comment until I’ve seen that, but certainly, we have an overall policy that people weren’t to use county resources or county time to be involved in political activities, and that’s one I enforced when we were made aware of, and obviously enforced in other cases, but in terms of particular details, we’ll have to wait to see, until we see the details.”
The court documents show Walker’s former chief of staff, Jim Villa, knew Rindfleisch was doing political work in the county office. He writes to her: “You are the political operation in that office now.”
I was, unfortunately, unable to embed the video, but it can ben seen at the above link.
Here's something new, though:
Walker has said he will meet with the Milwaukee County District Attorney in regards to the investigation, but that meeting hasn’t happened yet. “We ultimately have told them we’ll take their lead on what they’d like to have us explain on the timing of that, so as not to interfere with their other activities,” Walker said.So Walker hasn't met with the John Doe prosecutors yet. Interesting. With his earlier statement that he "volunteered" to speak with John Doe prosecutors (upon later questioning admitting that he was asked by prosecutors to meet with them) and setting up a legal defense fund to pay the 2 high profile criminal attorneys he hired, it was assumed that the meeting would have occurred soon after. So that meeting has yet to occur.
The next name on the list is Fran McLaughlin. She served as then-county executive Walker’s communications director. She now serves in the same capacity for Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.When Walker went to the Governors office, McLaughlin transferred to a similar position in Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarkes office. Clarke is a political ally to Walker.
Documents obtained by FOX6 News show McLaughlin may be the latest of Walker’s staff members to be under the microscope.The documents also include transcripts of online chats between Rindfleisch and Walker’s former chief of staff, Jim Villa. Rindfleisch says: “I got Fran highlighting all the mistakes in the press releases that the campaign does.” That’s a possible reference to McLaughlin editing Walker’s campaign press releases.
Jay Heck is the executive director of Common Cause Wisconsin – a non-partisan group that advocates clean government. He says this is typically how a John Doe investigation unfolds. “That’s interesting that that document exists and kind of lays out the road map that the District Attorney’s Office wanted to initially follow. It appears they’re not quite done yet with everybody on that list. It seems to be another example of somebody working on county time on the taxpayers dime, cheating the taxpayers, working on something they’re not supposed to be working on, which is the political advancement of Scott Walker for another office,” Heck said.
“What’s most shocking to me, is just sort of the audacity of doing that on a county system or a system that’s within the county building. I think one of the questions that people are wondering about is, if all of the top people in the county executive’s office seem to know about, and seem to be working on activity illegally, did the boss know or not? And if the boss didn’t know it, why didn’t he know it?” Heck said.As a former employee of Milwaukee County (now retired), I can tell you that any use of county property, resources, or time for anything but official Milwaukee County business was not only prohibited, but an offense that would get any employee quickly terminated. Yet none of the employees of the County Executives office were disciplined or even repremanded.
Yes, what did Walker know and when did he know it is a very, very interesting question.
Curiouser and curiouser. I'll keep a look out for tantalizing developments.