An Interactive Timeline of the John Doe Investigation
The Journal Sentinel put together an interactive timeline of the ongoing John Doe investigation surrounding Scott Walker’s staff.
Update: Three Charged in John Doe Investigation
Three individuals - including a former top aide to Gov. Scott Walker - were charged Thursday with felonies as part of the ongoing John Doe investigation into Walker staffers.
Tim Russell, a longtime Walker campaign and county staffer, was charged with two felony and one misdemeanor counts of embezzlement. One source said the charges are tied to Operation Freedom, an annual military appreciation day held at the zoo.
In 2010, Walker’s county administration had asked prosecutors to investigate what had happened to $11,000 raised in 2007 for the event.
Also charged Thursday was Brian Pierick, Russell’s longtime partner and a staffer at the state Department of Public Instruction, and Kevin Kavanaugh, Walker’s appointee to the Milwaukee County Veteran Service Commission.
Kavanaugh is charged with five felonies for theft and fraudulent writings by a corporate officer. He was the treasurer of the Milwaukee Purple Heart chapter at the time of the dispute over the $11,000 for Operation Freedom.
Pierick, 48, was charged with two felonies counts for child enticement. He is an office operations assistant at DPI dealing with education for homeless children and youth, according to the agency’s website.
Walker spokesman Chris Schrimpf had no immediate comment on the news but said the office would provide one later in the day.
Meanwhile, Walker is hanging out in D.C. again, speaking at conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute.
Gov. Walker Knowingly Misrepresented Job Creation Numbers
Announcing the best job numbers of his tenure with a splash last summer, Gov. Scott Walker left out the fact that his office had been told in an internal report that the monthly numbers were “very questionable” and “suspect.”
The snapshot of jobs in the state is normally announced each month simply through a news release, but in July Walker traveled to Milwaukee to announce that the month before the state had gained a net total of 9,500 jobs, a big chunk of the net total of 18,000 new jobs nationwide for that month. It was announced at the time as the biggest monthly increase in jobs since September 2003.The unusual announcement was made in the run-up to pivotal Senate recall elections last summer that were seen as a referendum on Walker’s policies.
But three days before the announcement, Walker’s office received a report from the state labor department that raised serious concerns about the numbers. The PowerPoint presentation was released to the Journal Sentinel under the state’s open records law.
"Results, while (federal Bureau of Labor Statistics) approved, are very questionable," reads the first line of the report.
A black Milwaukee driver is seven times as likely to be stopped by city police as a white resident driver, a Journal Sentinel analysis of nearly 46,000 traffic stops has found.
Similarly, Milwaukee police pulled over Hispanic city motorists nearly five times as often as white drivers, according to the review, which took into account the number of licensed drivers by race.
Police also searched black drivers at twice the rate of whites, but those searches didn’t lead to higher rates of seized weapons, drugs or stolen property.
2011-2012 Teacher Losses by School District
A new survey of the majority of the state’s school districts shows many of them were forced to make staff reductions and increase class sizes as a result of school aid cuts in Gov. Scott Walker’s state budget, according to the state Department of Public Instruction and a school administrators association.
- 90% of students in the responding school districts attend a district that had a net loss of staff “in one of four staffing areas” - teachers, administrators, aides and support staff.
- 40% of students attend districts with increased class sizes in the elementary grades.
- Though the state’s school districts have experienced staff cuts in most areas over the previous two school years, the cuts are much deeper this year - almost exactly three times as deep as the 2010-‘11 school year.
- Two out of three responding districts reported that they expect to have as deep or even deeper cuts next school year.
Herman Cain Faces Potential Campaign Finance and Tax Law Violations
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel broke the news about the questionable connection between a Wisconsin firm and the leading Republican candidate’s campaign.
Interestingly, Mark Block, Cain’s chief of staff and the man smoking in the creepy ad, is a Wisconsinite with a history of political scandal (he was banned from Wisconsin politics for 3 years because of fraud!). He also has ties to the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity.
Milwaukee Police Department Ignores National Standards for Domestic Violence
The very training that makes someone a good police officer can produce a frightening abuser, experts say.
For example, officers are trained to take control of every situation. They learn to interrogate suspects and to conduct effective surveillance. They learn how to pursue suspects and physically restrain them - in many cases, without leaving a mark. When they use force, they know how to provide legal justification.
This article is part of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s continuing investigative report on the corruption in the Milwaukee Police Department. Early parts of the series can be found here and are absolutely worth reading.
New Power Grab by Wisconsin Republicans
In what some call a brazen, unprecedented power play, a key Republican wants quick passage of a bill that would immediately implement new districts in the state Senate while keeping current districts in the Assembly, giving the GOP a better chance at retaining control of both houses.
The department tolerates misconduct. Prosecutors give cops career-saving deals. The commission reduces punishments when officers break the rules. As a result, police who have crossed to the other side of the law keep the power that comes with the badge. Meanwhile, citizens have no way of knowing whether the officers responsible for protecting them have tarnished records.
-The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Both Sides of the Law: At least 93 Milwaukee police officers have been disciplined for violating law.
League of Women Voters Sues Wisconsin Over Voter ID Law
The suit argues the state constitution allows the Legislature to exclude felons and the incompetent from voting, but cannot restrict others from voting. The new photo ID law creates a new class of people who cannot vote - those without ID - and thus violates the state constitution, the suit argues.
Breaking: Gov. Walker's Spokesperson Was Granted Immunity In Ongoing Criminal Investigation
Gov. Scott Walker’s chief spokesman has been granted immunity in the ongoing John Doe investigation of the governor’s current and former aides, it was learned Friday.
Former Waukesha County Judge Neal Nettesheim, who is overseeing the secret criminal probe, said he had granted immunity to three people, including Cullen Werwie, spokesman for Walker, in this part of the case. All three were given immunity several months ago, Nettesheim said.
Last year, Werwie joined Walker’s campaign after the September primary and stayed with it through the transition before joing the Walker administration in January.
Walker Administration is Still Corrupt
As the John Doe investigation into Walker’s campaign grew, Cindy Archer, a long-time aide to Walker, took a sudden leave of absence, citing “personal family matters.”
But it turns out she had already been hired for another Walker-appointed job before taking this leave and she’ll be making 61% more than her predecessor.