October 22, 2014

John Doe probe over, Walker moving on

It’s over and the governor hopes to move past the John Doe investigation.

Governor Walker hands out financial literacy awards in his conference room before answering reporters questions about the concluded John Doe investigation.

Governor Walker hands out financial literacy awards in his conference room before answering reporters’ questions about the concluded John Doe investigation. (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm closes the nearly three-year long secret investigation without filing any additional charges. Governor Scott Walker got the news “in the last day or so” that the case had wrapped up. “Obviously we’re pleased that the process is completed.”

The investigation had focused on Walker’s aides during his time as Milwaukee County Executive. The probe resulted in six convictions, including charges of embezzlement and doing campaign work on county time.

Walker on Friday afternoon reiterated comments he made in a statement earlier that morning. “As many of you know and have reported in the past, we were the ones that originally raised concerns with the district attorney about Operation Freedom.” There were concerns about the use of money from the fund intended to benefiting veterans. “We’re pleased that the district attorney looked into that, did a review, took action, and ultimately justice was served in those cases.” Former Walker aide Timothy Russell was convicted for stealing from that fund.

Walker wouldn’t comment about whether he feels vindicated after maintaining his innocence all along. Supporters had called this investigation a “political witch hunt,” but Walker says he never thought of it that way.

As for the defense fund, Walker says they’ll “figure out a way to wrap that up.” The governor has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

A judge signed an order February 21st officially closing the investigation. Chisholm made the announcement Friday morning, saying in his statement “I am satisfied that all charges that are supported by proof beyond a reasonable doubt have now been brought and concluded.”

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:32