Walker ‘very disappointed’ if charges against aides are true

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker held a press conference by telephone to respond to today’s news about criminal charges stemming from a John Doe investigation about his former staff when he served as Milwaukee County Executive.
     “My chief of staff at Milwaukee County, Tom Nardelli, brought to my attention concerns about a local veterans organization and funds collected several years ago for an event honoring veterans.  Mr. Nardelli, with my support, asked the Milwaukee County District Attorney to investigate those concerns. We appreciate learning that the District Attorney’s office investigated those concerns,” Walker said.
    For more information about the criminal charges, read the earlier BizTimes story.
    Democratic Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm denied today that politics played any role in his investigation into problems with Operation Freedom, an annual event at the Milwaukee County Zoo that Walker created to honor the military.
    Chisholm stressed that Walker’s county exec administration had requested the probe.
    "We go where the evidence leads and partisan politics plays no role in any decision made by this office," he told reporters at a brief news conference.
    In a conference call with reporters this afternoon, Walker said he would be "very disappointed" should the allegations in criminal complaints filed today prove true, noting that the funding in question should have been used for supporting military families.
    Asked what role the arrests could play as organizers continue to gather signatures to recall him, Walker said, "Anyone can try and twist things, but in the end, I think people will realize it was my office that brought it to their attention."
    Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate issued the following statement about today’s arrests and the ongoing John Doe investigation: "The arrest and criminal charges announced today against close aides to Scott Walker sends disturbing signals about Walker’s management and his judgment. He already has been linked to the largest criminal campaign finance violation in our history. Top aides to his campaign and his current and former administrations have been linked to an ongoing corruption probe. And there is strong evidence that he is running Wisconsin as a pay-to-play plantation for corporate special interests. Scott Walker has run his administrations in great secrecy. Now, he owes the people of Wisconsin an explanation for his role in these alleged bad acts."
    – WisPolitics.com and BizTimes Milwaukee

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