- Associated Press - Friday, August 8, 2014
Walker official questioned investigators’ motives

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The motives of prosecutors who conducted a secret investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s aides while he was Milwaukee County’s top official were questioned privately, even though Walker has said he cooperated fully with the probe, documents released Friday show.

The documents also include a list of people interested in serving in Walker’s gubernatorial administration and a memo titled “War Room” with internal directions for driving home policies, making key contacts and influencing the media.

The documents were in the latest batch of data released by the county in response to a judge’s order after the investigation concluded last year. But they amount to only a sliver of the data collected from county employees’ computers as part of an between May 2010 and 2013 that resulted in six of Walker’s aides and associates being convicted on various charges.

Walker was never accused of wrongdoing, but the probe and a second now-halted investigation have hounded the governor, who is up for re-election in November and considering a 2016 presidential run.

A document from Walker’s then-chief of staff Tom Nardelli’s computer is titled “Chisholm,” a reference to John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County district attorney who launched both of the secret investigations known as John Does. The unsigned document directly questions Chisholm’s reasons for using the procedure.

“Again John, why is this a secret John Doe? Why are you going this route?” it says. “What is the motive?”

Republican backers of Walker, who served as county executive from 2002 to 2010, have accused prosecutors of using the investigations as a partisan witch hunt.

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Police union drops last union challenge

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The state’s largest police union has dropped its challenge to Gov. Scott Walker’s public union restrictions, ending the last legal fight over the contentious prohibitions.

The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association filed a lawsuit in 2012 alleging the restrictions violated its right to free speech, association and equal protection. A Dane County judge dismissed the case last year, saying the law doesn’t take anything away from workers to which they’re constitutionally entitled.

The WLEA appealed but the odds were stacked against a reversal. The prohibitions have survived three other court challenges and last week the state Supreme Court upheld them in a fourth case that raised similar issues as WLEA’s lawsuit.

Court records show the WLEA dropped its appeal on Friday.

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1 killed, 9 hurt in single-vehicle crash

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - One person has died and nine others have been injured in a single-vehicle crash in Marathon County.

Sheriff’s officials say a large SUV rolled over northeast of Wausau Friday about 10 a.m.

A spokesman for Aspirus Hospital in Wausau says two teenage males were transported there by ambulance. A medical helicopter also responded to the scene.

The crash happened on Highway 52 in the Town of Easton.

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Wisconsin drunken driving deaths, injuries drop

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin transportation officials say drunken driving deaths and injuries in the state have dramatically declined over the last decade.

The Department of Transportation released data Friday showing the number of fatalities in alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin dropped 47 percent, from 348 in 2003 to 185 in 2013. The number of injuries fell 59 percent, from 6,445 in 2003 to 2,660 last year.

The overall number of alcohol-related crashes dropped 45 percent, from 9,007 in 2003 to 4,945 in 2013.

DOT officials released the statistics as law enforcement agencies across the state prepare to launch their annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” drunken driving crackdown. The effort is set to begin Aug. 15 and run through Labor Day.

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