MADISON, Wis. — In a recent story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Gov. Walker weighed in on the Ryan Braun scandal, ripping him for failing to “fess up”. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross called on Walker to heed his own advice by revealing the donors to his criminal legal defense fund and making public the documents he provided prosecutors in connection with the John Doe criminal investigation of his administration.
“Gov. Walker has felt the need to jump into the Ryan Braun controversy and wag a disapproving finger at the disgraced ballplayer. It would be nice if he felt a similar need to follow his own advice and fess up about who’s footing the bill for his criminal defense lawyers and his own legal and ethical imbroglios,” commented Ross.
Walker revealed that he had created a criminal legal defense fund in March of 2012 to pay for a legal team that included high-priced Chicago criminal defense specialists. While disclosing he paid lawyers at least $447,000 from the fund, he has refused to this day to reveal the identity of the donors that footed the bill for him.
A judge has closed the John Doe investigation in which six aides and associates of Gov. Walker were guilty of serious crimes like laundering campaign contributions, embezzling and campaigning on public time. Walker’s Deputy Chief of Staff pled guilty to charges stemming from illegal campaign activity she engaged in on public time, under his direct supervision and another top aid pled guilty to embezzling from a fund intended to help the widows and children of armed forces members killed in the line of duty.
Documents made public by prosecutors when these individuals were charged showed that top Walker campaign staff regularly participated in public policy decision making and his staff maintained a secret e-mail network in Walker’s Milwaukee County Executive office on which they used to evade open records laws and conduct political business while on public time.
Gov. Walker professed that no charges being brought against him exonerated him from any responsibility in the affair. Yet he has refused to make public documents he turned over to prosecutors.
Ross concluded, “Gov. Walker has had top aides and associates, under his direct supervision, plead guilty to serious violations of the public trust. And he’s asked us all to believe he had no knowledge of what was going on mere feet away from him in his office. It’s far past time for Gov. Walker to take his own advice and fess up to the people of Wisconsin.”