Emails Unsealed: Information collected during investigation into - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Emails Unsealed: Information collected during investigation into a former Walker aide


MADISON (WKOW) -- Thousands of unsealed emails and documents from the secret John Doe probe into the Milwaukee County Executive's Office show that investigators believed Scott Walker "appeared to be aware" his staff was using laptops and a private Internet router to conduct illegal campaign activities on county time.

An investigator with the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office testified to that fact at a secret hearing on November 1, 2010.  Later that day, Judge Neal Nettesheim signed off on a search warrant of the County Executive's Office to allow investigators to look into any illegal campaign activity involving six of Walker's staffers, including Tom Nardelli (Chief of Staff), Fran McLaughlin (Communications Director), Dorothy Moore, Tim Russell, Darlene Wink and Kelly Rindfleisch.

The unsealed documents released Wednesday morning, contain more than 27,000 pages of emails and hundreds of other documents collected during the criminal investigation into Rindfleisch, who was convicted of a felony for doing campaign work on government time for Republican lieutenant governor candidate Brett Davis.

Russell and Wink were also convicted of crimes in relation to the investigation.

Walker and the rest of his staffers investigated under the probe never faced any criminal charges.

But emails show staffers talked about communicating with Walker on the secret email system.

In a March 22, 2010 email that Cindy Archer, the head of Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services at the time, wrote to Rindfleisch: "Consider yourself now in the "inner circle". :) I use this private account quite a bit to communicate with SKW and Nardelli. You should be sure you check it throughout the day."

SKW are the initials for Scott K. Walker, used by various members of both the county and campaign staff.

Another email shows that on at least one occasion, Walker suggested that staffers from his 2010 gubernatorial campaign contact his office to have McLaughlin "dig up" information they needed for a reporter doing a story on General Mitchell International Airport.

Rindfleisch argued the documents should not be made public. Earlier this month, a state appeals court agreed with numerous news organizations who argued the documents should be made public.

Rindfleisch is appealing her conviction, arguing that the scope of the search warrants used against her was too broad.

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