RACINE — Confronted with the latest details in the ongoing John Doe investigation into several aides that served under Governor Scott Walker while he was Milwaukee’s county executive, Walker spoke exclusively with FOX6 News Monday.
FOX6 News obtained court documents relating to the John Doe investigation, and one page shows the Milwaukee County District Attorney subpoenaed human resources files for seven members of Walker’s staff when he was county executive.
The first three of the people named in the documents have already been charged. Darlene Wink, Walker’s former constituent services coordinator faces two misdemeanor charges. Timothy Russell, Walker’s former deputy chief of staff faces charges for embezzling money meant for military veterans. Kelly Rindfleisch, Walker’s former deputy chief of staff, faces four felony counts of misconduct in office.
The next name on the list is that of Fran McLaughlin. McLaughlin is Walker’s former spokeswoman. The documents obtained by FOX6 News show she may have been working for Walker’s gubernatorial campaign while she was on the county payroll.
The court file includes transcripts of online chats involving Rindfleisch. Rindfleisch writes: “I got Fran highlighting all the mistakes in the press releases that the campaign does.”
No other Fran worked in Walker’s office while he served as county executive.
Monday, Walker told FOX6 News he was “certainly not aware” that McLaughlin may have been writing and editing press releases for the gubernatorial campaign while employed as Walker’s county communications director.
Three other human resources files were subpoenaed — those of John Myhre, Tom Nardelli and Cynthia Archer. None of these individuals has been charged, but in September, the FBI raided Archer’s Madison home, seizing computers and records.
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.”
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.”
Walker has denied any knowledge of wrongdoing, and has said he will cooperate with investigators.
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.
Walker said Monday he doesn’t believe the John Doe investigation is politically motivated. “I haven’t seen any evidence of that. I think it’s people literally trying to get to the truth of the matter. That’s why I’ve been willing to cooperate throughout this process, and will continue to,” Walker said.
A John Doe investigation is a secret proceeding that keeps those involved from talking publicly. McLaughlin said she could not comment on the information in the court documents.