A fund created by Governor Scott Walker to pay legal expenses associated with a John Doe probe doled out nearly $10,000 for a public relations bill in the closing weeks of his June 5 recall election, a report filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service shows.
A report filed by the Scott Walker Trust shows it paid $9,988 May 15 to APCO Worldwide Inc. in Chicago - one of the largest independent public relations agencies in the country. The purpose of the expenditure was listed as "public relations" on the quarterly reported filed with the IRS.
Walker established the fund in March to pay legal bills in connection with a three-year-old John Doe probe by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office into the activities of former aides to Walker while he was Milwaukee County executive. Walker has repeatedly said he is not the target of the probe and that the fund was established to pay lawyers to review emails and other documents as part of the probe.
So far, three former aides, a county appointee and a campaign donor have been accused or convicted on charges ranging from illegal campaign contributions to campaigning on state time to embezzlement.
The report to the IRS shows Walker's defense fund spent $155,489 of the $160,000 transferred to it as of June 30 by Friends of Scott Walker, his gubernatorial fundraising committee. Except for the public relations bill, the remaining payouts went to three law firms.
The report shows the fund paid $115,000 to Sidley Austin LLP, a Chicago law firm where Walker has reportedly retained the services of criminal defense attorney John Gallo. The fund also paid $29,200 to Milwaukee attorney Michael Steinle and his law firm, Terschan & Steinle Ltd. and $1,301 to Lind Weininger LLC, a Madison law firm.