Governor Scott Walker says his campaign is cooperating with an ongoing John Doe investigation, and the earlier resignation of one of the two women charged this week is proof he took the issue of campaigning on the job seriously while serving as Milwaukee County executive.
Prosecutors on Thursday charged former Milwaukee County constituent services coordinator Darlene Wink and former deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch with doing campaign fundraising work while at their taxpayer-funded jobs in Walker’s office. Rindfleisch faces four felony counts of misconduct in public office, while Wink faces two misdemeanor charges of political solicitation by a public employee.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:09)
Walker says the Milwaukee County executive’s office had a “clearly expressed policy” against doing political work while on the clock. He says the resignation of Wink after it was discovered she was posting pro-Walker comments on news websites is proof the behavior was not tolerated.
The criminal complaints against Wink and Rindfleisch detail accusations against several people in Walker’s office, including the creation of a secret email system used by those doing campaign work. Speaking to reporters in Wauwatosa Friday, the governor declined to comment on other aspects of the complaint, citing secrecy rules tied to the ongoing probe.
AUDIO: Gov. Walker talks to reporters (5:56)
Democrats called the latest round of charges proof of a top down conspiracy to skirt the law for Walker’s benefit. Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Graeme Zielinski says the complaint shows “Scott Walker was to rise to power, and no one was to be bound even by law for laying this crooked path on which he walked to Madison.”
Zielinski says it’s “simply beyond any belief that these criminal acts would have been taken on Scott Walker’s behalf without the knowledge of his campaign or Walker himself.”
Despite the fact that both women charged worked in the county executive’s office, the governor says he does not believe the investigation is targeting him directly. Walker says he has “every confidence that when this is completed people will see that our integrity remains intact.”
Audio courtesy of WUWM radio.