The Milwaukee County executive’s office under Scott Walker “obstructed” a criminal investigation into missing donations to a veterans fund, two investigators alleged Friday in a federal court brief that includes recently unsealed investigative records.
Conservative commentators have embraced the narrative put forth by critics of the two John Doe probes involving Walker and others. Wisconsin is being defamed as a place where unethical law enforcers driven by naked political partisanship have run amok.
Walker and his staff felt beleaguered by the volume of records requests from political opponents, and at times expressed scorn for the requesters. But they also discussed ways to use the law to their advantage, and asserted their commitment to obeying it.
On July 30, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on newly released emails between Scott Walker’s campaign staff and county aides in 2010, back when the future governor was Milwaukee county executive. One email was from Cindy Archer, then a top county aide, to Walker and his campaign staff, advising that “we may be responding too quickly” to open records requests regarding a county parking structure collapse that killed a 15-year-old boy. The requests were from the state Democratic Party and the campaign of Walker’s GOP primary opponent, which presumably wanted to use the tragedy to impugn Walker. That’s a pretty low motivation — Walker, in a draft statement, aptly called it “disgusting” — but the state’s Open Records Law does not allow a requester’s motives to be taken into account.