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Chat Transcript on Walker Investigation with Daniel Bice

The following are selected questions and answers from an online chat with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigative reporter Dan Bice. For a complete transcript, visit [JSonline.com >>(http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/138157709.html)

Q: DR - Doesnt the Walker email that was released really say it all????

A: Daniel Bice - It was very interesting and not just for what it said. But Walker decided to deal with what was clearly county business by using his private campaign email. Did he routinely do other county business on private email? Did he make these private emails available if someone asked for them in an open records request?

Q: Eastside Veteran, Milwaukee - When Tim Russell was given control of the American Legion funds was Kevin Kavanaugh under investigation at that time? And if so my guess is that Scott Walker had to know.

A: Daniel Bice - Ah, someone interested in the finer details of the criminal investigation. Nardelli talked to the DA's office about Kavanaugh in April 2009, and prosecutors asked for a John Doe investigation in May 2010, some 13 months later. (It's not clear why it took so long.) During that 13-month period, Walker turned over control of Operation Freedom's finances to the nonprofit run by Russell, who allegedly started siphoning funds in December 2009. Read into all that what you will.

Q: Jim Trost, Hartford, WI - How can this probe not include Scott Walker? Has he been asked questions by the district attorney about his knowledge of campaigning while at work? I know he has said in the media he doesn't know anything.

A: Daniel Bice - Actually, Walker used to say consistently that he didn't know anything. For instance, back in August 2010, I approached him and asked about authorities seizing Tim Russell's work computer at the county. Walker said he didn't know what I was talking about. But he has been answering questions differently of late. He now says he shouldn't comment because of the ongoing investigation. I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed this tactical change.

Q: warrior4good - Will there be more charges forthcoming? Also, do you think any will stick to Walker?

A: Daniel Bice - That's the $64,000 question, isn't it? We've reported that prosecutors are looking into real estate deals involving guys like John Hiller. You don't get any closer to Walker than John Hiller. But it's not quite clear yet if the Milwaukee County DA will take his probe up one more level.

Q: RE34710, Milwaukee, WI - Is it now clear that the Operation Freedom Event was a political event to directly benefit Walker and not a veteran's event? As proven by the chat in the RindFleisch Criminal Complaint between Ermert and RindFleisch, "really, half of the stuff I am doing is policy for the campaign." "I am also doing operation freedom."

A: Daniel Bice - Good catch.

For the complete transcript, visit JSonline.com >>