Analyst Weighs Potential Impact of John Doe Emails on Governor Scott Walker

Feb 20, 2014

Documents released yesterday indicate Governor Scott Walker was aware of a secret, parallel email system that was in place during his time as Milwaukee County Executive.

The thousands of documents are related to the first so-called John Doe investigation into campaign activities. They include many conversations between Walker's taxpayer-supported county staff and his campaign staff as he first ran for governor in 2010.

Among the most significant is an email from Walker's administration director to aide Kelly Rindfleisch, noting that the secret email system allowed her to communicate regularly with then-County Executive Walker and his chief of staff. Rindfleisch was the only person in the probe convicted of illegally conducting campaign business while on county time.

Other county staffers - who were charged with responding to open records requests at the time, were reportedly unaware of the system.

Mordecai Lee is a professor of governmental affairs at UW-Milwaukee's School of Continuing Education.