Gov. Walker hopes John Doe wraps up soon, judge says investigation open
MILWAUKEE — On Tuesday, November 27th, Gov. Scott Walker said he thought the John Doe investigation into his former Milwaukee County office was wrapping up soon. Meanwhile, the judge overseeing the John Doe corruption probe into Gov. Walker’s former aides and associates said Wednesday the investigation remains open.
“It hasn’t stopped us from doing our job. I think most people — not just me — but most people would like to know that it’s going to end at some point,” Gov. Walker said.
Gov. Walker has been expressing that hope for several days — after his Milwaukee County deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch was sentenced to six months in jail and another county staff member, Timothy Russell has reportedly reached a deal with prosecutors.
“He’s got a number of his top aides that are under indictment — some that are definitely going to prison. They’re just awaiting sentencing,” state Rep. Peter Barca (D – Kenosha) said.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Gov. Walker indicated he hoped the investigation was winding down, and re-iterated that he remains certain he is not the ultimate target of the criminal probe into misconduct of his aides and staff members while he was Milwaukee’s County Executive.
“I have no idea where this John Doe is going, but I don’t think he does either, so why he would ever step out on the ledge and say ‘don’t worry this is about to be over,’ it’s really quite surprising,” Barca said.
Wednesday, an Associated Press reporter tweeted that Judge Neal Nettesheim, the former state Appeals Court judge who is overseeing the investigation says it’s not over, and remains open. Gov. Walker says he doesn’t have an inside track on the investigation, and relies on media reports, which sometimes distort the information.
“Often times, the stuff I’ve read, or heard about on TV — often times it gets reported on by one outlet, and it’s like that telephone game we played as kids where you go around the circle. By the time it gets to the third or fourth media outlet it’s changed so many times that it’s completely different than what was said in the first place,” Gov. Walker said.
Gov. Walker served as Milwaukee County Executive for eight years, before being elected governor in 2010. The John Doe investigation began six months before that, meaning it has now stretched for more than two years.