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Gov. Walker Calls State Investigation A 'Sidebar Issue'

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AP Photo / Scott Bauer

The Journal Sentinel first reported on Monday about the secret investigation, which is being led by Francis Schmitz, a former assistant U.S. attorney who has been appointed as a special prosecutor. According to the Journal Sentinel, the investigation -- which began in February 2012 -- is looking at a number of issues, including the 2011 recall races, a current legislative leader, and the 2012 gubernatorial recall contest between Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

On Monday, Walker suggested that news of the investigation -- which he called a "sidebar issue" -- may have broken this week for political reasons.

"From our standpoint, we assume with there now officially being a candidate for governor on the Democrat side, there are going to be stories like this coming out -- in some ways, I think, distracting from our good work on improving the economy and providing $100 million worth of tax relief," the first-term GOP governor said.

The Journal Sentinel also reported on Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R ) had refused to answer questions about the investigation. 

“I can’t comment on it,” Fitzgerald said.

A message left by TPM with Fitzgerald's office on Monday was not returned.