Politics

Gov. Scott Walker Linked to Secret Email System

February 20, 2014

Thousands of documents unsealed Wednesday link Gov. Scott Walker to a secret email system used in his office that would avoid public scrutiny when he was Milwaukee County executive.

The records also show that on the day before he was elected governor in 2010, the secret investigation into links between Walker's county government staff and his political campaign was widened to include four more aides. That same day, search warrants were executed on Walker's campaign and county offices, as well as the homes of some of his assistants.

The Republican governor spoke to the press only before the records were released, saying he was confident there wouldn't be anything damaging in them beyond what had already led to criminal charges against several former aides and appointees.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat whose office led the John Doe investigation, would not comment on the pre-election timing of the expansion of the investigation and searches, which included the seizure of computers.

The trove of documents unsealed by the courts Wednesday shows just how intertwined Walker's campaign operation was with his taxpayer-paid county staff in the months leading to the November 2010 general election.

It is against state law in Wisconsin for public employees to work for political parties and campaigns while being paid by taxpayers to provide government services.

Throughout the secret investigation, Walker said he had zero tolerance for government employees doing campaign work while on the clock. But the newly released records detail almost daily interactions between his top county and campaign staffers.

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