Investigator: Walker ‘appeared to be aware’ of computer equipment

27,000 pages of documents released Wednesday
Investigator: Walker ‘appeared to be aware’ of computer equipment

A transcript in a release of sealed documents from a John Doe investigation shows an investigator believed Scott Walker “appeared to be aware” that his Milwaukee County executive staff worked to conceal computer equipment used for illegal campaigning.

Walker was never charged by prosecutors for anything in connection to the investigation that was closed early last year.

A Wisconsin state appeals court released 27,000 pages of emails and hundreds of other previously sealed documents Wednesday. The documents were collected during a criminal investigation into a former aide to Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

The documents are available below. Some are large downloads.

The documents include a transcript from a hearing that took place the morning of Nov. 1, 2010, the day before the Gubernatorial election where Walker was elected Governor. In the testimony, David Budde, the chief investigator for the Milwaukee County DA’s office, addressed an email sent by Walker to staff and campaign aides after one of his county staffers admitted to using a personal laptop at her county office to post pro-Walker posts on blogs and news stories.  Walker told staff “we cannot afford another story like this one…no laptops, no websites, no time away during the work day.”

“The significance of this email is that it shows that the County Executive would appear to be aware that laptops were used in the County Executive’s office for accessing things on non County networks,” Budde said in the court hearing.

“It also is very significant because it shows that the various members of the county executive staff worked in concert to conceal laptops and/or networks — wireless networks that were in existence in that office suite, and these items were not present when we did our search warrant later in the day on May 14, 2010,” Budde said.

Walker’s email was sent after an article was published about Darlene Wink, who later pleaded guilty to working on Walker’s campaign on county time.

The documents released Wednesday include emails Kelly Rindfleisch sent while working as Walker’s deputy chief of staff when he was Milwaukee County executive in 2010. Rindfleisch was convicted of a felony for doing campaign work on government time for Republican lieutenant governor candidate Brett Davis.

The documents also include communication from then Administration Director Cindy Archer to Rindfleisch where she said she “uses her private account quite a bit to communicate to SKW (Scott Walker).”

The documents show the Milwaukee County Executive’s Office and the home of Kelly Rindfleisch were searched Nov. 1, 2010, a day before an election. Search warrants were approved just after noon that day and a search of the county executive’s office too place at 4 p.m.

Rindfleisch argued the documents released Wednesday should not be made public. Earlier this month, a state appeals court agreed with The Associated Press and other news organizations in saying they should be made public.

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

Walker commented on the document release during an event Wednesday morning. He said he doesn’t expect any surprises beyond what’s already been talked about.

Rindfleisch Search Warrant Return and Stipulation with printout of related Laptop PST files [PDF] NOTE: 163 MB download
Rindfleisch Gmail Search Warrant return with printout of related emails [PDF] NOTE: 218 MB download
Affidavit in Support of Request for Search Warrant – Darlene Wink [PDF]
Affidavit in Support of Request for Search Warrant – Wis. Stat. 968.375 [PDF] Affidavit in Support of Enlargement of Scope of John Doe Proceedings and Application for the Issuance of John Doe Subpoenas [PDF] Affidavit in Support of Request for Search Warrants – Information and Records Relating to Tim Russell [PDF] Affidavit in Support of Petition for Release of “Paragraph 2” Data [PDF] Affidavit in Support of Request for Search Warrants – Wis. Stat. 968.375 [PDF] Search Warrant for seizing and searching information and records in Milwaukee County Executive suite of offices [PDF] Search Warrant for seizing and searing laptop and desktop computers, financial records, cellphone records, and records relating to remote data storage information at the premises occupied by Rindfleish in Columbus, Wisconsin [PDF] Transcript from the hearing on Nov. 1, 2010, on the State’s request for court orders for the foregoing subpoenas and warrants [PDF]
Exhibit list and exhibits from the hearing on Nov. 1, 2010 (above) [PDF]
Order permitting use and disemination of John Doe Information and Materials – Kelly Rindfleisch [PDF]