Secret investigation into Walker aides closes, Walker not charge - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Secret investigation closed, Walker not charged


MADISON, Wis. - A secret investigation into Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's former aides and associates has closed without any charges being filed against Walker.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced Friday that the so-called John Doe investigation ended last week.

The investigation looked into activity in the Milwaukee County's Executives Office when Governor Scott Walker held that position. Six people were charged including four of Walker's former aides and a campaign donor. The crimes range from theft to misconduct in office.

The governor was not charged with any crimes.

Throughout the investigation Governor Walker maintained that he did nothing wrong and predicted months ago that the investigation was nearing an end.

Newsline 9 put a call into the governor's office, officials there said Governor Walker would not be doing interview on this subject. But, he did release a statement saying in part, "we appreciate the effort that was undertaken and to bring appropriate matters to justice."

Newsline 9 also tried to contact the Milwaukee County District Attorney, but members of his staff said he was not making further comments. However, he also released a brief statement that said, "after a review of the John Doe evidence, I am satisfied that all charges ... have now been brought and concluded."

The news of the closed investigation has other lawmakers speaking out. Democratic State Representative Peter Barca says the investigation was time and money well spent.

"Hopefully it will send a strong signal that Wisconsin continues to not accept people who violate the public trust, " Barca said.

And with the investigation over, lawmakers on both sides say the focus is on getting things done for the state.

More: Milwaukee County D.A. closes John Doe Investigation (PDF)

The six people charged are as follows: 

Tim Russell was sentenced to two years in prison and five years of extended supervision. Russell pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from a veterans' group when he worked for Walker at the county level.

Brian Pierick, was charged with child enticement after investigators looking into Walker's associates seized phones and computers that allegedly showed he was trying to lure a 17-year-old into his van.

Kelly Rindfleisch was convicted of working on Republican Brett Davis' campaign for lieutenant governor in 2010 on county time while she served as Walker's deputy chief of staff.

William Gardner was sentenced to two years' probation after he was found guilty of exceeding state campaign donation limits.

Darlene Wink pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of working on Walker's gubernatorial bid on county time.

Kevin Kavanaugh, the county Veterans Service Commission, was found guilty of stealing more than $51,000 in donations meant for veterans and their families.

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