John Doe investigation opened as a result of lost veterans money – spiraled as additional wrongdoing found.

John Doe Investigations Are A Unique Legal Proceeding Used In Wisconsin – They Allow Prosecutors To Subpoena Witnesses To Establish If A Crime Has Been Committed, And If So, By Whom. According to the law firm Hurley Burlish and Stanton, “The John Doe proceeding is an institution sanctioned by long usage since Wisconsin’s territorial days. The provisions of Wis. Stat. section 968.26 currently define the scope of a John Doe proceeding in Wisconsin, which is intended as an independent, investigatory tool to ascertain whether a crime has been committed and if so, by whom. The goal is to allow the judge to determine whether it appears probable from the testimony given that a crime has been committed, and whether to file a complaint. But the proceedings are also designed to protect innocent citizens from the fallout of frivolous prosecutions. […]Unlike normal criminal proceedings, which can be initiated if there is probable cause to believe a person has violated the law, John Doe proceedings help law enforcement develop the evidence necessary to establish the very existence of probable cause. The John Doe proceeding gives law enforcement powers not otherwise available to them. For example, it gives law enforcement the power to subpoena witnesses, to take testimony under oath, to offer immunity from prosecution, and to compel the testimony of reluctant witnesses.” [Hurley Burlish and Stanton, Viewed 2/17/14]

The Initial Inquiry That Led To The Walker John Doe Investigation Began When Walker’s County Chief Of Staff Reported An $11,000 Shortfall In A Veteran’s Fund Called “Operation Freedom.” According to the Journal Sentinel “Walker has said it was his concern about missing funds that led to the John Doe investigation, which was expanded several times. Tom Nardelli, then Walker’s county chief of staff, told prosecutors in 2009 about a shortfall of some $11,000 in Operation Freedom money during the period that Kavanaugh was overseeing those donations.”[Journal Sentinel, 11/29/12]

  • Milwaukee County Prosecutors Opened The John Doe Criminal Investigation After Being Stonewalled By Walker’s County Executive Administration According to The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “Milwaukee County prosecutors opened the secret John Doe criminal investigation more than two years ago after being stonewalled by Gov. Scott Walker’s office when he was county executive, according to a newly released record.” [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 5/31/12]
  • Prosecutors Said Walker’s Administration Was “Unwilling Or Unable” To Turn Over Records And Information Needed In The Investigation According to Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “On May 5, 2010, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf filed a petition with court officials asking if his office could initiate a secret investigation into what happened with $11,000 in donations intended for Operation Freedom, an annual event honoring veterans. By making it a secret John Doe investigation, Landgraf wrote that prosecutors might get better cooperation from Walker’s office, which had been ‘unwilling or unable’ to turn over records and information needed in the investigation. He said he would need to subpoena county records and officials.” [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 5/31/12]

The John Doe Spiraled To Include Almost Everyone Who Worked For Walker As Additional Wrongdoing Was Uncovered – Resulted In Several Arrests And Convictions. According to Salon, “So what is the ‘John Doe’ investigation? The term does not apply to a single anonymous person, in this case, but rather it refers to a secret evidence-gathering investigation, much like a grand jury. The investigation has been led by a DA and judge in Milwaukee, who has the authority to compel testimony, issue warrants and carry other law enforcement actions. The probe reportedly started with a single staffer who had worked for Walker when he was Milwaukee’s county executive, but it has since grown much larger, touching almost everyone who has worked for Walker, and even the governor himself, and producing several arrests and convictions.” [Salon, 6/1/12]

John Doe Investigation Focused On Three Issues: Possible Theft Of Funds Set Aside For Veterans Events, Illegal Political Contributions To Walker’s Campaign Fund, And Political Activity By Walkers Aids While On Taxpayer Time According to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Nettesheim said the investigation focused on three issues. He said prosecutors wanted to know if employees of the Wisconsin Southern Railway and its president and owner William Gardner had made illegal contributions to Walker’s campaign fund and others. They also were focused on political activity by Walker aides while on the clock for taxpayers and suspected theft of funds set aside for veterans’ events.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/3/13]