In the latest sign Gov. Scott Walker is preparing for a recall effort, his chief of staff is leaving the governor’s office to work on his campaign.
Keith Gilkes ran Walker’s campaign last year, helped lead his transition and has served as chief of staff since Walker’s January swearing in. Gilkes will return to his political consulting firm on Oct. 8.
Gilkes disclosed his plans to top Walker aides during a cabinet meeting Friday at a Madison hotel.
Gilkes’ resignation as the John Doe investigation currently underway in Milwaukee County has taken a turn for the interesting, with a law enforcement search of longtime Walker aide Cynthia Archer’s Madison home, as well as the revelation Walker administration spokesperson Cullen Werwie received prosecutorial immunity in the John Doe investigation along with an executive from Wisconsin & Southern Railroad
Gilkes isn’t the first high-level Walker administration official to resign under curious circumstances, as Tom Nardelli, who served as Walker’s chief of staff when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, resigned his high-level position in the Walker administration only days after accepting it, citing “misgivings” about the position as well as “other little things” related to the internal operations of his former state agency as reasons for his departure.
Despite the curious timing of his resignation, Gilkes said his departure was not related to Milwaukee County’s ongoing John Doe investigation.
As my good friend Ed put it, this sounds a lot like a rearranging of deck chairs on the Titanic, and quite frankly I’m surprised Keith Gilkes left Scott Walker’s administration before Cullen Werwie.