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High court makes some Walker probe papers public

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday ordered the release of documents from John Doe investigations of Gov. Scott Walker and his associates relating to Walker’s time as Milwaukee county executive and then governor.

The court ordered that several dozen documents be made available to the public. It was unclear how heavily balcked out the documents would be.

Documents from the secret investigations had been sealed, though some have been leaked.

Justice Shirley Abrahamson partially dissented from the decision, saying she favored the release of the documents but did not agree that all the blacking out was necessary or consistent. Justices Ann Walsh Bradley, Rebecca Grassl Bradley and Daniel Kelly did not participate.

Both John Doe investigations were launched by Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm. The first, in 2010, resulted in convictions of six of Walker’s aides for actions including stealing money from a veterans’ event and campaigning on public time. The second, launched in 2012, centered on whether Walker’s 2012 recall campaign illegally coordinated with outside conservative groups. The state Supreme Court halted that probe in 2014, saying such coordination is legal as long as it doesn’t become express advocacy, a political term for advertising that specifically asks voters to defeat or elect a candidate.

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