Walker continues to stonewall on important questions
Has Scott Walker been straightforward with the people of Wisconsin about a single matter involving the widening criminal corruption probe of his office? After promising to run the most transparent administration in history, Scott Walker’s public conduct in response to this growing scandal has been reprehensible.
Today we learned that Walker had retained his high-priced criminal defense attorneys long before he used a classic Friday news dump to admit he’d done so. According to the report, Walker personally owes more than $55,000 to two law firms representing him in the ongoing corruption probe of his County Executive Office. This number represents only what Walker owed through December, 31st 2011—more than two full months before he set up a criminal Legal Defense Fund.
On March 9th, Walker issued a written statement announcing the formation of a legal defense fund. These statements included dishonest, self-congratulatory praise for not using taxpayer resources to finance his legal defense. The reality? He can’t. His statements were also, according to the plain text of the law and numerous legal experts, inaccurate regarding his justification for formation of such a fund. According to legal experts, Scott Walker is now under investigation in the corruption probe, or his defense fund is illegal.
It’s time for Walker to step up in person and provide the people of Wisconsin answers about this widening criminal corruption probe of his office. Among the outstanding questions to which Wisconsinites deserve answers:
Governor Walker is not a man of great means. With Walker owing $55,000 through the end of last year, and having retained them for an additional 2+ months before his defense fund was formed, how much does he owe them and who’s footing the bill?
Why are Scott Walker’s high-priced criminal defense attorneys, who bill at a rate of over $1,000/hour, floating him $55,000 + an additional 69 days in legal fees when such an amount represents a massive percentage of his personal net worth? Do they do this for clients who aren’t, say, a sitting Governor?
Has the District Attorney charged Scott Walker with a crime? If not, how has he set up a legal defense fund in accordance with the law? According to elections experts, Walker must be charged with, or under investigation for a crime to legally file and raise money into such a fund.
If he hasn’t met with the District Attorney, has the DA barred Walker from commenting publicly about the case? The witnesses who worked for the allegedly-corrupt Walker administration are barred from talking, but if Walker hasn’t spoken with the DA, what is his excuse for his continued stonewalling?
Are Walker’s criminal defense attorneys being retained by Scott Walker alone, or by both Walker and his campaign? If they are, Walker is likely using campaign funds to finance overlapping work which will benefit his personal criminal defense. That raises serious questions about the propriety of how his personal criminal defense is being financed.