We still don’t have a sense of how big or consequential this Scott Walker investigation is in Wisconsin, but the news that Walker’s own spokesman has been granted immunity should raise some eyebrows.
Gov. Scott Walker’s spokesman is one of three witnesses who have been granted immunity in an ongoing John Doe investigation that includes allegations of campaign law violations, according to records obtained by WisPolitics.com .
The spokesman, Cullen Werwie, also served as deputy communications director for Walker’s gubernatorial campaign.
Rose Ann Dieck, a retired teacher and Milwaukee County Republican party activist, and Kenneth Lucht, a lobbyist for the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad, have also been granted immunity in matters “still under inquiry” through the secret probe, according to the judge overseeing the case.
The judge stressed that a grant of immunity “does not necessarily mean, imply or infer that those witnesses are suspected of, or guilty of, any criminal wrongdoing.”
As far as I can tell, the investigation dates back to the Walker gubernatorial campaign and possibly his days as a Milwaukee County executive. There has already been one conviction in the case, of William Gardner, a campaign donor to Walker who made illegal contributions and sought to cover them up. Cindy Archer, a top staffer to Walker, had her home raided by the FBI a couple weeks ago.
The WisPolitics article has a bit more.
The source said part of the John Doe has included looking at emails Wink (the sock-puppeteer) sent county GOP contacts about various fundraisers. The source added Wink was likely in frequent contact with Dieck because of their positions with the county party [...]
Lucht, the lobbyist for the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co., was ordered in April to pay a $250 civil forfeiture in connection with another part of the John Doe investigation.
That piece of the probe resulted in the conviction of William Gardner, president and chief executive officer of the railroad, on two felonies: one for exceeding the campaign contribution limits; and the other for giving company and personal funds to other railroad employees so they could make campaign donations. Gardner was sentenced to two years probation after he pleaded no contest.
I have to think that this is about more than Walker staffers sock-puppeting on blogs on company time, and a few campaign finance violations. I just don’t think you get the FBI involved in that case.
Stay tuned to this.