Walker paid PR firm almost $10,000


Gov. Scott Walker used nearly $10,000 from his legal defense fund to pay a Chicago public relations firm according to a newly filed document with the IRS.

Walker established the fund to pay his lawyers for work they perform part of the ongoing John Doe investigation in Milwaukee County. Aides who worked for Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive have been charged with crimes ranging from illegal campaigning to embezzlement. The governor has not been charged.

Walker has said repeatedly that the $160,000 he transferred to the fund from his campaign was being used to cooperate with the investigation, saying attorneys were handing over thousands of e-mails to prosecutors. Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Director Mike McCabe says paying a public relations firm nearly $10,000 would seem to contradict that. “I think the bottom line for us was that it simply was evidence that the money was being used for purposes that are not in keeping with what the governor said all along the money was being used for.”

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Walker’s campaign released a statement saying that the firm, APCO Worldwide, “provided assistance on legal and media issues.” The campaign said the money was spent in accordance with requirements of the state Government Accountability Board.

Board spokesman Reid Magney said he could not comment on specific expenditures. But Magney pointed to a passage in state law that lets public officials use legal defense funds for expenses, “supporting or defending” a candidate or agent under investigation.