The public will soon be able to view thousands of documents tied to a secret John Doe probe that targeted former aides of Governor Scott Walker.
A state appeals court judge has ordered the release of emails and other documents seized from Kelly Rindfleisch, who was Walker’s deputy chief of staff when was Milwaukee County Executive. Rindfleisch pleaded guilty to doing campaign work for Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate Brett Davis while she was at her job in Walker’s office.
Several news organizations had petitioned for the release of the documents and a state appeals court last week rejected a request from Rindfleisch to keep them sealed. The court says Rindfleisch turned down an offer to review the documents for personal information that should not be disclosed to the public, so the judge ordered that they be made publicly available on February 19th.
The long running John Doe probe out of Milwaukee County ended nearly a year ago. It investigated issues 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. 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. Rindfleisch, got six months in jail for doing campaign work on county time. Former county constituent relations director Darlene Wink was fined $1,000 on the same violation.
A domestic partner of Russell’s was fined $2,100 for an unrelated sex charge that was uncovered during the course of the investigation.