Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Media Trackers scores big hit on John Doe investigation

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This time Media Trackers scored a direct hit on their target, the John Doe investigation into possible political campaign activities in Governor Scott Walker’s office when he was the Milwaukee County Executive.

Media Trackers is able to confirm that 43 current employees of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office signed the petition to recall Governor Scott Walker. A total of 70 names on iverifytherecall.com matched the names of current employees at the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office, but not all could be completely confirmed at the time of publication. The employees signing the Walker recall petition range in stature from a Deputy District Attorney, to at least 19 Assistant District Attorneys, and a host of support staff.

Highest ranking among the officials signing the Walker recall petition was Deputy District Attorney Lovell Johnson Jr. Johnson is one of five Deputy District Attorney’s who report directly to DA John Chisholm.

In addition to DDA Johnson Jr., Media Trackers was able to confirm that 19 Assistant District Attorneys (employee status provided by the Milwaukee DA as of March 26, 2012) signed the Walker recall at the time of publication.

Chisolm’s office attempts to defend itself by saying none of the people named were directly involved in the John Doe investigation. However, when nearly a quarter of the staff are actively supporting political efforts to remove from office the probable target of an investigation, it casts a cloud on the entire investigation. Even more so when you consider how this “secret” John Doe investigation has been leaky from the beginning. Instead of a fair and politically impartial investigation, it’s impossible for Chisolm’s investigation to continue without the motives for every decision by his office getting questioned with just cause.

Even as someone who has criticized some of the people in Walker’s office that were named in the investigation and demanded more of an explanation from Walker, this revelation today strikes me as devastating to the investigation’s credibility.

It’s even more amazing to me that, given the John Doe probe, it never occurred to Chisolm to order his staff not to have any participation in the recall effort. Shocking, really.

I’d suggest Chisolm try to find a way for another District Attorney’s office to continue the investigations if he really believes they must go forward.

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