MADISON, Wis. — A new report raises questions about the veracity of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s denial of the existence of a secret email system in the Governor’s office. An article posted today on UrbanMilwaukee.com reports that a source with knowledge of the Governor’s staff operation in the State Capitol described a system of top state staff using laptop computers and personal email addresses in an apparent attempt to evade the Wisconsin open records laws and subvert prohibitions on state employees engaging in campaign activity on state time.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said of the latest revelations, “Now we know why Gov. Walker has been so adamant in avoiding the press and answering their questions. The truth may be significantly different from the version of events he and his handlers have been selling for going on four years.”
In Washington, D.C. earlier this week Gov. Walker explicitly denied, in response to a question from the media, that a secret system similar to one in his office suite when he was Milwaukee County Executive existed in the Governor’s office. The information disclosed by a source to the longtime investigative reporter at UrbanMilwaukee.com appears to directly contradict Walker’s statement.
A secret “John Doe” investigation of Gov. Walker’s top aides and associates from his time as Milwaukee County Executive resulted in guilty pleas from aides for illegal activities ranging from laundering campaign contributions, embezzling from charities and illegal campaigning on public time.
Previously unreleased emails from Gov. Walker’s county deputy chief of staff revealed the secret email system was used for rampant campaigning on public time, Gov. Walker’s gubernatorial campaign staff was intimately involved in public policy issues and Walker himself was intimately involved in the details of crafting his public image and responding to negative media coverage.
In addition, the court testimony of investigators in the John Doe proceedings related to the issuance of search warrants indicated that they believed Walker himself was aware of the secret email system.
Ross concluded, “Gov. Walker has been stonewalling questions about his knowledge of the culture of corruption that has surrounded him. It seems that that walls are starting to crumble as Gov. Walker’s evasions are directly contradicted by evidence.”