Democrats try to connect the dots in secret investigation involving Governor Walker
STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- State democrats were in Stevens Point on Wednesday -- trying to connect the dots -- in a secret investigation involving several of Governor Scott Walker's former aides. Four people who worked with Walker when he was the Milwaukee County executive have been charged in the ongoing investigation.
"What we're finding is a pattern of corruption that existed solely to propel Scott Walker into the governor's office," said state democratic party chairman Mike Tate. "Many of these people have gone with him to Madison and are in the administration currently."
The republican governor has not been charged in the secret investigation. But four people who worked with him -- while he was the Milwaukee County executive -- have. Two other people have also been charged in connection with this investigation. The charges include a variety of alleged crimes: from embezzling tens of thousands of dollars to misconduct in office and violating state election laws.
"Do people really believe, when the people who were closest to him and the people he sits 20 feet from were engaged in criminal activity -- virtually full-time -- did he have no knowledge of it? And I think that's an important question he needs to answer," said Tate.
The latest charges involve Darlene Wink. She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor political corruption charges this week. On Sunday, the governor said he's been cooperating with the investigation.
"There have been a thousand people who have worked for me and the vast majority have had high standards," said Governor Walker. "The frustrating thing is that we have taken action in the past to try to weed that out and we certainly want to make sure that doesn't happen again."
The governor's staffers and members of the state republican party did not return our calls for comment on Wednesday. But Governor Walker has said he plans to meet with investigators.
"We have every confidence that when everything's done, we'll continue to be helpful and our integrity will remain intact," said Governor Walker.
Authorities have also looked into allegations of a secret email network -- which state democrats say links Walker to many of the others involved.
"It's very troubling that this type of system even existed at the beginning and he needs to be held accountable," said Milwaukee County supervisor John Weishan Jr.
The investigation has been going on since May of 2010 and no one knows how long it will take to complete. Walker's six staffers have been charged with a total of fifteen felonies and three misdemeanors.