John Chisholm, Call A Plumber

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John Chisholm, Call A Plumber

CREATED Jan. 24, 2012

What's going on in the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office?  Seriously, if Noah had a leak the size of the one John Chisholm has in his "secret" John Doe investigation, he'd have had to build an even larger boat!

Yesterday, the Journal Sentinel reported on the timeline for future prosecutions from the seemingly never-ending John Doe investigation that Chisholm's office has been running for over a year and a half.  According to the report, charges will be brought within the next week against "former county staffers for doing extensive campaign activity while on the taxpayers' dime".  Those charges will then supposedly be followed shortly by charges involving a real estate deal!

That's all well and good - but why is this public at this point?

John Doe investigations are supposed to be secret - both to protect the integrity of the investigation and to protect the reputations of those not charged.  Chisholm has already shown that he doesn't care too much about protecting the reputations of those not yet charged.  Given the continuing leaks, he also doesn't seem too care too much about secrecy in general.

Presumably, there is a secrecy order in place that prevents people familiar with the "secret" investigation from discussing it.  Assuming the newspaper isn't simply making things up, that order is apparently either so loose as to be meaningless or does not appear to be being followed.  In either case, the question is: why isn't Chisholm doing something about it?  Frankly, I've never seen an investigation with as many leaks as this one. 

If these disclosures were coming from a federal grand jury investigation, I have no doubt that somebody would be in jail by now.  John Doe proceedings run by the State are different - but they're still supposed to be secret.

And "secret" does not mean having every move detailed in the newspaper three weeks before it occurs.

I know the District Attorney of Milwaukee County is a Democrat. I know that a lot of Democrats think the only way that Governor Walker can be defeated in a recall election is if he's tarnished by Chisholm's investigation.  I also know that several Democrats are thrilled that the ongoing leaks give the local newspaper a regular opportunity to keep the allegations front and center in people's minds.

Still, this is not the way "secret" investigations are to be conducted.

John Chisholm, call a plumber!

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