FROM: One Wisconsin Now
RE: Gov. Scott Walker must ask for resignations of Cullen Werwie and Brett Davis
According to none other than Gov. Scott Walker, any person he found illegally campaigning when he was Milwaukee County Executive would be asked to resign.
Yet as of today, two high-ranking members of Gov. Walker’s administration – spokesperson Cullen Werwie and state Medicaid Director Brett Davis – continue their state employment. This despite the significant evidence that they knew of, coordinated with and benefitted from the secret campaign operation allegedly run in the Milwaukee County Executive’s Office.
The long-ago resignation of constituent relations employee Darlene Wink for campaigning on county time provides no defense for Walker allowing Davis and Werwie to continue to collect state paychecks.
Surely, Gov. Walker has read himself, or at least been briefed on, the 50-plus page criminal complaint against his former Deputy Chief of Staff and campaign fundraiser Kelly Rindfleisch.
Surely he is aware of the evidence presented that Rindfleisch, Werwie as Davis’ Lieutenant Governor campaign’s manager and Davis himself as the candidate were in frequent contact with each other regarding his campaign.
In fact, the criminal complaint reveals that while Rindfleisch was employed by Milwaukee County and retained by the Davis campaign, she exchanged emails with Davis at least 300 times. In total, she sent or received nearly 1,400 e-mails related to campaign fundraising during regular business hours.
Davis and Werwie directed and supervised the activities of their contract campaign fundraiser Rindfleisch. They were fully aware of her position as an employee of Milwaukee County, and yet did nothing to discourage or stop her alleged illegal activities. Their actions, regardless of whether they are prosecuted, do not demonstrate the type of character one would want in top administration posts.
If Gov. Walker continues to fail to abide by his own policy by not asking for the immediate resignations of Davis and Werwie it, sadly, seems to confirm that he remains more concerned about getting caught illegally campaigning than getting to the bottom of serious allegations of abuse of the public trust and treasury.
Perhaps even more ominous is the appearance, if not the reality, that the continued public employment of individuals interviewed by prosecutors and alleged to be intimately involved in the criminal activities under investigation amounts to the payment of hush money.
As an elected official entrusted with the legal operation of his office and responsibility for the actions of his employees, the buck stops with Scott Walker.
To maintain any credibility in the face of this deepening scandal and mounting questions about his involvement, Gov. Walker must act consistent with his stated ethics policy.
Gov. Walker must see to it that Davis and Werwie’s state employment ends now.