After reading from an email he says pulls an even darker shadow over Gov. Scott Walker, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Monday it's time for the governor to come clean about a John Doe investigation now under way.
At a Milwaukee press conference, Barrett put more pressure on Walker to disclose his involvement in the investigation that centers around staffers from Walker's time as the Milwaukee County executive conducting campaign activities on county time.
The May 2010 email stems from when Walker aide Darlene Wink resigned from her county job after admitting that she posted online supportive messages for her boss' campaign on county time.
The email was written by Walker and sent to former aide Tim Russell, who has been charged with embezzlement.
"The people charged were some of Governor Walker's closest political contacts," Barrett said. "Media reports say thousands of emails have been turned over as part of the investigation. I call on Scott Walker to release the emails so the people can know their governor's role in the investigation."
A Barrett campaign staffer handed out copies of the email obtained as part of the criminal complaint against Wink. Referring to Wink, Walker wrote:
"I talked to her at home last night. Feel bad. She feels worse. We cannot afford another story like this one. No one can give them any reason to do another story. That means no laptops, no websites, no time away during the work day, etc."
Another issue raised by Barrett is the secret router supposedly installed 25 feet away from Walker's county executive office. Barrett read aloud from another email, this one sent from Kelly Rindfleisch, Walker's former deputy chief of staff, to Russell:
"I took the wireless down. It’s in my bag for now."
Rindfleisch has also been charged for her role in using taxpayer time for campaign activities. Barrett said the router being so close to Walker's office and so many associates having access to it raises a lot of questions.
"It's a simple question: Did he use it or not?" Barrett stated. "I've been asking that for weeks, even before the (recall) primary."
Walker's campaign could not be reached from comment on Monday, however, the governor briefly addressed the issue at an event in Madison, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
"Most people will see this for what it's worth. They'll see this is a desperate campaign and a desperate candidate trying desperately to have people ignore their record of failure in Milwaukee and that our reforms are working," the newspaper quoted Walker as saying.
However, Barrett said the desperation is on Walker's side. The first sign of desperation, he said, was a "besieged governor" r before they were vetted by the federal government.
"The second sign is that Governor Walker is trying to run out the clock, hoping the election takes place before any further action by the district attorney," Barrett added. "It's incumbent on the media and the people to call on the governor to answer questions about his involvement.
"People have the right to know before the election if their governor was involved in this scandal," he said.
Barrett disputed the notion that his focusing on the John Doe investigation is "just politics."
"Scott Walker is the only governor in the country with a criminal defense fund that's paying for state and federal attorneys," he added. "You don't do that if it's just a clerical error."