April 24, 2014

Milwaukee County DA ends John Doe probe

The John Doe investigation in Milwaukee County has wrapped up.

The secret investigation focused on the Milwaukee County executive’s office, during the period when Governor Scott Walker served in that position. It examined issue ranging from campaign finance fraud to embezzlement, and resulted in charges against six individuals. Of those charged, three were former employees of Walker’s office.

A judge signed an order February 21st closing the investigation. In a statement, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said that “he is satisfied that all charges that are supported by proof beyond a reasonable doubt have now been brought and concluded.”

Two ex-Walker associates, Kevin Kavanaugh and ex-chief-of-staff Tim Russell, were each sentenced to two years in prison for embezzling thousands of dollars from an event that honored Wisconsin veterans. Another top county Walker aide, Kelly Rindfleisch, got six months in jail for doing campaign work on county time. Former county constituent relations director Darlene Wink was fined $1,000 dollars on the same violation. A domestic partner of Russell’s was fined $2,100 for an unrelated sex charge that was uncovered during the investigation.

Governor Walker was never charged with any wrongdoing as part of the long-running investigation.

In a statement from his campaign, Governor Walker said he is “glad the process has been completed” and that he appreciates “the effort that was undertaken and to bring appropriate matters to justice.”