Documents From First John Doe Probe Will Be Turned Over To Milwaukee County

County Executive Says He'll Determine Which Documents Will Be Suitable For Public Release

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, right, said he'll handle the documents in a nonpartisan manner. Photo: Chris Abele (CC-BY-SA).

More documents from the first John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s time as Milwaukee County executive will soon be turned over to the office of the current County Executive Chris Abele.

Judge Neal Nettesheim, who is overseeing the completed “John Doe 1” probe, recently ruled in a case brought by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that prosecutors should turn seized documents over to Milwaukee County. The formal release order may come soon.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said various news media and others will want to see the items. He said he’s trying to strike a balance: “We want to, as quickly as possible, release absolutely everything that’s public, but also protect what’s not.”

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Some view Abele as trying to protect Walker, who had several friends or associates convicted of breaking laws. Abele, however said he’s a big financial supporter of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke.

“As the guy who’s been supporting Democrats for a long time, I’m currently a supporter of Mary Burke – one of her larger supporters,” said Abele. “But my job here is not do politics. My job at county is to protect your privacy, and your access and balance that as best I can.”

Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan, who’s also running as a Democrat for state Assembly this fall, said Abele should release everything.

“The only way to get it done expeditiously and cost-effectively would be to put them out there for other organizations and other individuals to look at them and report on them,” he said.

Weishan says the former Walker associates who were involved in criminal activity gave up their right to privacy.