Report: Probe expands to Wisconsin government
MILWAUKEE An investigation related to Gov. Scott Walker's tenure as Milwaukee County executive has expanded to state government, according to newly released documents obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The documents, obtained through an open records request, show a Milwaukee County prosecutor sought personnel records from Walker's state office and another agency in June and then met with a state attorney the following day.
It is not clear why the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office wanted the records and there was no indication of impropriety in the records turned over by the Walker administration, according to the Journal Sentinel's report. Walker spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster said she doesn't know why prosecutors wanted the records.
"We obviously treat it as any other open records request and try to make sure we are as responsive as we can possibly be," Webster said.
Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney David Robles on June 18 requested records from the governor's office and the state Department of Administration for all communications "related to the designation and determination of individuals as 'key professional staff' of the Office of the Governor" since Walker took office on Jan. 3, 2011.
Twenty-two positions in the governor's office fit the criteria, according to Webster. Robles visited the chief legal counsel at the Department of Administration the following day.
Prosecutors have spent the past 27 months looking into a variety of campaign and other issues from Walker's tenure as Milwaukee County executive. A former Walker aide from Milwaukee County has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors for raising campaign funds while on the job. Three other former Walker aides and appointees in Milwaukee County have been pleaded not guilty to felonies.
Walker downplayed the records request during a question-and-answer session with reporters after a Madison ceremony to unveil a new Wisconsin stamp. He said he doesn't know what prosecutors are looking for, saying he hasn't "really looked at it specifically."
He said the so-called John Doe investigation hasn't become a distraction for him.
"We're focused on jobs. We're focused on getting ready for the next budget," the governor said. "It really hasn't been a factor."