“Scott Walker signs bill limiting Doe probes as records released”

Patrick Marley:

Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation Friday curtailing the ability of district attorneys to use the John Doe law to launch investigations like the probes they have conducted of his campaign and his aides and associates.

The GOP governor signed the measure a day after documents related to the secret probe of his campaign were released that showed investigators initially believed they had overwhelming evidence of violations of campaign finance laws. The documents suggested they had second thoughts after they were sued over the investigation, which the state Supreme Court shut down in July….

Legal challenges to the probe started soon after subpoenas were issued and search warrants executed. That gave prosecutors second thoughts, according to a November 2013 email from Shane Falk, who was an attorney with the accountability board at the time.

“Bottom line, (Schmitz) is really questioning the validity of the case. He also admitted to me that he, David and Bruce have been discussing things and in light of the motions, were very fearful that they had missed something,” Falk wrote, referring to assistant district attorneys David Robles and Bruce Landgraf.

Soon afterward, accountability board members raised concerns that Walker could pull some of the members from the board because many of them had not been confirmed by the state Senate. They considered quickly filing a finding of probable cause that campaign finance laws had been violated, but decided against that to protect the integrity of the probe.

 

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