Gov. Scott Walker Maintains Veil of Secrecy for Those Who Foot the Bill for His Criminal Defense Lawyers

Recent Ethics Filing Fails to Disclose Identities of Contributors Who Larded Criminal Legal Defense Fund With Over $447,000

MADISON, Wis. — In his recently filed Statement of Economic Interests, Gov. Scott Walker reports that he still owes his Chicago criminal defense lawyers in excess of $50,000 and that he got a pair of cufflinks from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Left undisclosed are the identities of the contributors to Walker’s criminal legal defense fund that raised over $447,000.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “Gov. Walker has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for his criminal defense attorneys, yet, to this day, he is refusing to disclose who’s footing the bill.”

According to the Government Accountability Board’s guidance to elected officials on legal defense funds, “An official required to file a Statement of Economic Interests with Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board must identify each person who, during the prior year, contributed more than fifty dollars to a ‘legal defense fund’ established under 11.64 to benefit the official.”

Walker revealed he created a criminal legal defense fund in March of 2012 to pay for criminal defense lawyers he retained in connection with a John Doe investigation. The investigation revealed close coordination between the administration of then Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and his 2010 gubernatorial campaign and resulted in the guilty pleas of close aides and associates on charges of laundering campaign contributions, embezzlement and illegal campaigning on public time.

“It is far past time for Gov. Walker to stop stonewalling about who’s underwritten his legal defense. The unseemly revelations about the illegal conduct of the aides and associates Gov. Walker chose to surround himself with were an outrage. The scandal is only worsened now by his outrageous and inexcusable refusal to disclose the identities of the donors to his criminal legal defense fund.”

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.
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