Walker Knew about “Secret” Email System at Milwaukee County

Well this is something.

Court documents have previously showed Walker’s aides set up a secret wireless router in the county executive’s office and traded emails that mixed county and campaign business on Gmail and Yahoo accounts.

I can report that Walker knew about this system as far back as 2002. How do I know? I helped Tim Russell set it up.

Back in 2002, I was called to the newly elected Walker’s office to meet with Tim Russell, who was being promoted at the time as the “technology expert” for the new County Executive . Russell wanted to know how he could set up a private computer network within that office which would have its own link to the internet.

Former County Executive Dave Schultz had such an office system with Apple Computers back in 1988-92, but F. Thomas Ament had dumped it when he became Executive because too many of Schultz’s emails had found their way to the pages of the Journal Sentinel. Ament and his top Administrators tended to distrust the new technology and were more secretive than the Schultz people.

During the 1990s, I was responsible for technology in the Department of Human Resources (DHR) and had set up a departmental network with email and a web site with it’s own ISDN line link to the internet. We were one of several county departments who had moved in this direction in the 90s in advance of a countywide system later developed by the central Information Management Services Division (IMSD).

DHR was only one floor below the County Executive’s Office in the Courthouse, and Tim Russell wanted to know how I did it. During our meeting in 2002, I told him.

As I remember, Russell told me that Scott Walker was very appreciative of my help and wanted to thank me personally. Russell took me over to Walker’s office for the meet and greet, but he turned out to be busy and only smiled and waved from his desk as we stood outside his office door.

I have no doubt that Walker knew what he was smiling and waving about. Russell had certainly made it clear that we were doing this at Walker’s bidding.


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5 thoughts on “Walker Knew about “Secret” Email System at Milwaukee County

  1. This new breaking information should be immediately taken to those in charge of John Doe 1. Clearly the smile and wave by Walker would and should lead to jail time. Gees how did this slip through the investigators hands. I’m shocked.

  2. When will Russell ‘fess-up as to Walker’s involvement?

    Is Russell’s current sentence just for theft?

  3. As this saga unfolds, some of you might remember reading my comment a few days off the front page here:


    Sly’s mentioning that Democrats should be pushing for Walker to release the transcripts of Walker’s so far secret testimony, “cooperating,” with the John Doe is another avenue that needs some daylight, I do agree.

    Walker’s continued defense that he hasn’t been prosecuted, to me, can only mean one thing. He was granted immunity from prosecution for his testimony against his subordinates.

    1. Immunity? Interesting no doubt, But why establish a Legal Def. fund, spend $650k, When from the very start He could have asked for Immunity, No legal def. Fund and He wouldn’t have had to spend $650k? IANAL, But interesting thought.

      1. I really appreciate that take, thanks Dave W. Exactly what kind of legal help that money buys and exactly which defendants on whom was it spent, is still unknown. Walker’s “cooperating with the investigation,’ transcripts would undoubtedly shed a lot of light, regardless, and I think would be well worth seeing.

        Again thanks for your thoughts.

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