A special prosecutor in Wisconsin said on Thursday that Gov. Scott Walker was not the target of an investigation that has become an issue in the hard-fought governor’s race.
Last week, in court papers in a civil suit, the special prosecutor’s office described Walker as being at the heart of a “criminal scheme” to violate election laws by coordinating efforts with conservative national groups to win recall elections in 2011 and 2012.
No charges have been returned in the probe, known as a John Doe investigation, which was halted by a court. That decision is under appeal.
The charge of Republican Walker’s involvement has become an attack motif for his opponents, including Democrat Mary Burke. In statements and television appearances, Walker has maintained that he is innocent.
On Thursday, special prosecutor Francis Schmitz had his lawyer, Randall D. Crocker, say in a statement that he “has made no conclusions as to whether there is sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime.”
“At the time the investigation was halted, Gov. Walker was not a target of the investigation,” Crocker said. “At no time has he been served with a subpoena.”
Crocker said the documents that were made public were never designed to be released and outlined a prosecutor’s theory.
“In recent days, the documents and the allegations contained within have received significant media coverage,” said Crocker. “Contained in the documents is a reference to the request for production of documents that relates to an alleged criminal scheme. Gov. Walker’s name was included in this reference.
"While these documents outlined the prosecutor’s legal theory, they did not establish the existence of a crime; rather, they were arguments in support of further investigation to determine if criminal charges against any person or entity are warranted.”
Walker has said the investigation was politically motivated.
“After the media's slanderous reporting last week, today’s statement by prosecutors should serve as an opportunity for the media to correct the record and report the real facts of this story,” the Walker campaign said in a statement.
Crocker said that Schmitz would “continue to undertake the duties of his office as determined by the courts in accordance with his oath, without regard to party or politics and in a nonpartisan manner.”
Follow @latimesmuskal for national newsCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times