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Document Release Sheds More Light on Walker’s Secret Email System

PHOTO: A document dump in an ongoing John Doe investigation sheds more light on what some are calling a secret e-mail system used during Walker's campaign for governor in 2010. (Official photo from the Governor's office)
PHOTO: A document dump in an ongoing John Doe investigation sheds more light on what some are calling a secret e-mail system used during Walker's campaign for governor in 2010. (Official photo from the Governor's office)
February 20, 2014

MADISON, Wis. – Thousands of pages of documents relating to a secret John Doe investigation, which many say is centered on Gov. Scott Walker's first election campaign in 2010, were ordered released Wednesday by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

The investigation has already resulted in the convictions of six of Walker's former aides, during the time when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive.

Mary Bottari, deputy director of the Center for Media and Democracy, read through many of the emails that were released, some regarding a supposedly secret email system inside the County Executive's office.

"Everyone in the County Executive's office that's working on the political end of things seems to be quite aware of the secret email system, quite aware that it's inappropriate,” she said. “You know, they scurry to pack things up, so that no reporter who walks in will see it."

Walker has insisted he had no knowledge of the secret email system, and on Wednesday said the ongoing investigation was an example of cynicism in politics.

Walker said the flurry over the document release Wednesday was over-hyped by political partisans, and he predicts they are going to be disappointed.

The emails seem to show that several members of Walker's staff, when he was Milwaukee County Executive, were aware of a secret laptop and a secret wireless network that his campaign staff used to communicate, while on taxpayer-paid time.

According to Bottari, the emails show Walker staffer Kelly Rindfleisch, who was convicted of four felony counts of misconduct in public office, took down the network and hid the laptop when the District Attorney got wind of the secret communications system.

"And remember that Kelly Rindfleisch is doing all this work 20 feet away from the County Executive Scott Walker's office,” Bottari said. “So it seems very hard to believe that he wasn't cognizant of all this fundraising and political work going on in his County Executive's office."

Walker has consistently denied knowledge of the secret communications system.


Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI