[size=24]Scott Walker, eyeing 2016, faces fallout from probes as ex-aide’s e-mails are released[/size
MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has had his eye on a 2016 presidential run since his battles with labor unions made him a Republican star, is dealing with the fallout of two criminal investigations at home that could complicate his move to the national stage.
One is ongoing, and although the other is closed and found no wrongdoing by Walker, it has the potential to embarrass him.
That was evident Wednesday with the release of more than 25,000 pages of e-mails from a former staff member that were gathered as part of the concluded inquiry.
The investigation focused on Walker’s time as Milwaukee county executive in the run-up to his 2010 election as governor and led to the convictions of six former aides and allies, including criminal convictions of two aides for performing political business on county time.
Prosecutors have said Walker was never a target, and he was not charged. Walker said Wednesday that the new disclosures revealed nothing beyond what authorities already had reviewed, and he predicted that Democrats would exaggerate their importance.
The e-mails and other previously sealed court documents released Wednesday showed nearly daily coordination between Walker, his gubernatorial campaign and public employees in his county office.
Walker has characterized the activities as wayward behavior of low-level aides. But the e-mails show that he knew county officials were working closely with campaign officials.
Walker, for instance, directed his county staff members and campaign aides to hold a daily conference call to coordinate strategy, the documents show.
He routinely used a campaign e-mail account to communicate with county staff members, who also used private accounts, the documents show. Prosecutors have said the approach was used to shield political business from public scrutiny.
Six Walker aides were convicted in the John Doe 1 investigation. John Doe 2 is still underway.