... show that the GAB considered using the state’s John Doe law to investigate key state conservatives and even national figures, including Fox News’ Sean Hannity and WTMJ Milwaukee host Charlie Sykes.SWAT team raids on one of the state’s most prominent talk show hosts (and, by the way, AT contributor)? How about Sean Hannity? Were they going to fly to New York?
The Reporter has obtained even more documentation than was released yesterday, and it reveals a pattern of less-than-forthright honesty at the GAB. Right Wisconsin, which cross-posted the article from the Wisconsin Reporter, has come up with this amusing visual juxtaposition:
Some highlights:There is much more. Read the whole thing. And stand by, because there is more to come as discovery proceeds in the lawsuit.
Staff members engaged in the probe seem to have defied their own board. Documents show the board voted on July 21, 2014 refused to reauthorize the investigation, on a 3-2 vote.
Documents show the GAB staffers were preoccupied with their own legal exposure rather than whether those staffers were engaged in a lawful investigation. As late as May, they urged the board to continue to fund the agency’s probe because “terminating the investigation could undermine the position of the Board’s investigators in the civil case, exposing them, and potentially Board members to civil liability with no legal support.” (snip)
Under state law, the agency’s board must meet “at least once every 90” days to review the progress of the investigation. The board must approve the reauthorization of the investigation or the probe is considered closed.
The GAB is not authorized under law to prosecute criminal investigations, such as John Doe probes.
GAB spokesman Reid Magney earlier this week told Wisconsin Reporter, “John Doe investigations are initiated by district attorneys and controlled by a judge, not the Government Accountability Board.”
Asked whether the board has reauthorized the probe, he declined to comment, citing confidentiality laws.
Technically, the GAB’s involvement in the investigation should have been terminated over a year ago.
According to documents, the GAB voted to authorize the probe on June 20, 2013 but did not vote to reauthorize until Sept. 25, 2013 – 97 days after the GAB’s investigation was officially launched.
GAB Judge Harold Froehlich extensively discussed the lapse at a board meeting in May 2014.
But the GAB, according to court documents, had been admitted as a party to the probe and assisting prosecutors 10 months prior to the board’s formal vote to begin its investigation.
The unsealed documents show GAB director and general counsel Kevin Kennedy and Jonathan Becker, administrator of the agency’s ethics division, involved the accountability board in the secret probe without the approval or even knowledge of the judges. Board members were not informed of the involvement until Dec. 18, 2012, some three months after Kennedy and crew jumped on board.
And it seems Kennedy and Becker misled the board about precisely when they had “learned” of the John Doe investigation, according to a Dec. 18, 2012 memorandum.
“Since the time of the October 23, 2012 Board meeting, staff has learned that the Milwaukee District Attorney has opened another John Doe investigation,” the memo states.
It is unknowable where this all is going, but it represents a wild card in the potential presidential candidacy of Walker. Being the target of sinister and apparently illegal persecution by the left while taking on public employee unions makes for quite a dramatic resume.
Wisconsin is the state that gave birth to progressivism, which means that the movement has had longer to degenerate there than anywhere else. It would be fitting to have its funeral there, too.
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman