Former AG says legal defense fund may make Governor "culpable" - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Former AG says legal defense fund may make Governor "culpable"

MADISON (WQOW) --  If there is one thing Governor Scott Walker either cannot or does not want to talk about, its his role in the criminal John Doe investigation into illegal campaign activities in Milwaukee County.

Tom Barrett and the Democrats now appear committed to forcing his hand.

In a new attack ad, Barrett's campaign puts Scott Walker's legal issues front and center, pointing out that he's hired criminal attorneys using money from a legal defense fund.

The Governor has not said who that fund was set up for, but under state law, it can only be for the an elected official or one of their agents.

On Wednesday, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin brought out its last Attorney General, Peg Lautenschlager, to give a legal opinion on exactly who qualifies as such an agent.

"An agent of Scott Walker would be somebody who was authorized by Scott Walker to act on his behalf," said Lautenschlager.  "Our state law in Chapter 990 goes so far as to say that when that agent acts, the principal is as culpable for the wrongdoings as is the agent."

In Oshkosh Wednesday morning, the Governor seemed unphased, continuing to tout what he calls a successful record on jobs.

"For us its just stay focused," said Gov. Walker.  "People elected me in November 2010 to fix the fiscal and economic problems of this state.  I've never wavered on that." 

Democrats clearly hope repeated public pressure will force the Governor's hand on the John Doe issue, because even they admit the authorities likely won't, at least not by June 5th.

"I think its safe to say that whatever might happen with the John Doe investigation, its not going to happen until after the election," said Lautenschlager.

Lautenschlager said she conducted multiple John Doe investigations in her time as the Winnebago County District Attorney, but also admits, she is only going by her interpretation of the law as it relates to Governor Walker.

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