Investigation Surrounding Scott Walker Even Bigger Than We Thought

In this Dec. 22, 2011 file photo taken in Maple Bluff, Wis., Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks about progress that's been made on his 2010 campaign pledge to add 250,000 jobs by 2015.
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Updated: February 19, 2014, 5:25 PM

Just one day before Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was elected governor in 2010, a judge widened an ongoing investigation to also include four of the governor’s top aides.

That’s according to documents from 27,000 emails and 434 pages of search warrants related to an ongoing secret investigation of Walker released on Wednesday.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the documents show that on Nov. 1, 2010 there were raids on Walker’s campaign office, the Milwaukee County executive office and the residences of a number of Walker aides, including Kelly Rindfleisch, Walker’s former deputy chief of staff.

In 2012, Rindfleisch was convicted of misconduct in office. Specifically, Rindfleisch was found to be doing campaign work for a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor on official government time, which is a felony.

The investigations are regularly referred to in Wisconsin as “John Doe investigations,” which is a type of probe where it’s illegal for anyone involved in the investigations to talk about them.

John Doe Judge Neal Nettesheim added the following Milwaukee County executive office aides to the investigation: Rindfleisch, Walker chief of staff Tom Nardelli, Walker spokeswoman Fran McLaughlin and scheduler Dorothy Moore.

Thus far, only Rindfleisch has been charged. Nardelli quit his $90,000-a-year job in the governor’s office last July, just days after accepting the position, and McLaughlin went to work for Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke instead of following Walker into the governor’s office. Moore still works as Walker’s scheduler out of the Wisconsin governor’s office.

In order to get the search warrants, prosecutors showed Nettesheim “dozens” of emails that involved Walker’s county staff and his campaign staff, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Here are some other nuggets that have come out of the documents so far:

•As Milwaukee county executive in 2010 Walker ordered a top aide to organize a daily conference call with a combination of state and campaign aides.

• Rindfleisch and other top Walker officials in the county executive office used personal laptop computers for campaign business on government time. They also set up a clandestine wireless router with those computers.

• After a Walker staffer quit for admitting to pseudonymously posting 70 comments on Wisconsin Journal Sentinel stories and blog posts in October 2010 the documents show that Walker told one of his top aides “We cannot afford another story like this one. No one can give them any reason to do another story. That means no laptops, no websites, no time away during the work day etc.”

• Walker aide Nardelli forwarded a bizarre and racist email that read, “Say it isn’t so!!! I can handle being a black, disabled, one armed, drug-addicted, Jewish homosexual on a pacemaker who is HIV positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, lives in a slum, and has a Mexican boyfriend, but please, Oh dear God, please don’t tell me I’m a Democrat.”

• Walker aides were stressed after they discovered that an employee in the Behavioral Health Division had a “checkered past” as a thong model. The aides notified Walker and moved to have her released from the position. Because the employee’s name was not included in the email exchange it’s not clear what happened to her.

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You can download the newly released documents here.

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