MADISON, Wis. — Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen, according to a news report today, refused to help the investigation into fellow Republican Scott Walker’s office in the scandal being called “Cronygate.” The refusal and silence of the state’s “top cop” to investigate his fellow Republican raises serious questions about Van Hollen’s conduct and warrants an investigation, according to One Wisconsin Now.
“JB Van Hollen owes the people of Wisconsin answers immediately as to why he would not investigate these potential crimes,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Van Hollen’s refusal to investigate Scott Walker’s ‘Cronygate’ raises serious questions about his integrity and fitness to continue to serve as our state’s Attorney General.”
According to today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Van Hollen “was asked months ago to assist in a growing secret investigation of former and current aides to Gov. Scott Walker, but Van Hollen’s office declined, sources familiar with the request said Tuesday.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/21/11, http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/130236158.html]
The secret John Doe investigation reportedly involves numerous Walker aides who may have used taxpayer-financed resources to support Walker’s gubernatorial campaign. News reports have indicated several work and personal computers have been seized in the investigation being conducted by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office. Several top officials in the Walker gubernatorial administration have abruptly left their posts or been reassigned to lower-level tasks. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also raided the home of one of Walker’s top aides just last week.
“Gov. Walker made the insulting claim he doesn’t know anything about this and Attorney General Van Hollen refused to investigate,” said Ross. “This attempted whitewash can only be seen as the most serious threat to the integrity of the Offices of the Governor and the Attorney General that we have seen in our lifetime.”
What makes Van Hollen’s refusal to aid the investigation additionally troubling is that Van Hollen’s office worked hand-in-glove with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office for the past two and a half years through the Election Integrity Task Force, pursuing all allegations of potential voter impropriety that have netted less than 20 actual instances. Van Hollen not only held press conferences on these issues, but also regularly produced press releases touting his work with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office, including with the investigator leading the current Walker “Cronygate” cases.
“It’s now clear Van Hollen only investigates cases that further his partisan agenda,” said Ross. “But when his political allies like Walker are in trouble, he sits on his hands.”