They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

'John Doe': How Blog Comments Have Launched Probe Of Walker


That layer of secrecy has led to much speculation and denials in the press. For example, Walker aide Tom Nardelli, who back in Milwaukee County had been Walker's chief of staff for three years, suddenly quit his job in late August at the state Division of Environmental and Regulatory Services. However, Nardelli denied it having any connection to the John Doe investigation, and said that he was quitting because it was unfair to have just taken a job he planned to resign from soon anyway.

The investigation may have taken another turn on Wednesday, when the FBI raided the Madison home of Cynthia A. Archer, who had worked for Walker in the county government and has worked in state government since his election.

However, Archer is also denying that this is connected to the wider investigation. "I don't really know anything about the John Doe investigation," she told the local CBS affiliate in Madison.

"I can tell you that I've been a public servant my whole life. I have a very good sense of what's appropriate and inappropriate," Archer also added. "To my knowledge I never engaged in any inappropriate activities or behavior at work. I didn't do blogging or any of that kind of thing, so I'm confident I have nothing to hide."

Chris Wiesmueller, the attorney for the original blog-commenter Darlene Wink, also questioned the idea that Archer was connected to that original story. "I'm really in the dark in how we get from Darlene to Cynthia Archer," Wiesmueller told the Associated Press.

The Journal Sentinel also reports on a curious situation regarding Archer's current employment status with the state -- she transferred from one job to another, and then went on sick leave just as she was set to start the new one:

Archer, 52, until recently was deputy administration secretary to the Republican governor. She now holds a different state job but is on paid sick leave, records show.

Her sick leave started Aug. 22 - the first day she was to have been on the job as legislative liaison in the Department of Children and Families. Originally, she was to return this coming Monday, but her medical leave has been extended.

Archer is currently on paid sick leave, using 344 hours of banked sick leave accumulated in large part from her previous time in state government from 1987-2003 -- a perk that is allowed for employees who leave state government, but later return as appointees to "career executive position

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[Ed Note: This post has been corrected from an earlier version that misstated the raid on Archer's home as having taken place on Thursday. It took place on Wednesday.]