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Judge denies that Gov. Walker John Doe probe will end this week


MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A judge says it’s not true that the John Doe probe into Governor Scott Walker’s former Milwaukee County aides is about to end.

Retired judge Neal Nettesheim, who’s overseeing the investigation, tells the Associated Press it’s not complete – and it remains open.

Tuesday, Walker told the Dairy Business Association that he hoped the two-year-old John Doe probe would be over by the end of the week. He told reporters he did not have inside knowledge of its progress – but he had a general feeling it was winding down.

Nettesheim, a retired Waukesha County circuit judge, says it’s “pure conjecture” that the probe may be winding down.

So far, 5 of Walker’s former aides and associates from his days as the Milwaukee County Executive have been charged with various crimes.

Former deputy chief of staff Tim Russell is scheduled to enter pleas Thursday, after striking a plea deal with prosecutors on charges that he embezzled $20,000 from a program that salutes Wisconsin veterans.

Ex-Veterans Service Commissioner Kevin Kavanaugh will be sentenced December 7th for stealing over $40,000 from the same program.

Former railroad executive William Gardner got two years of probation for exceeding allowable campaign donations to Walker. Ex-Walker aides Kelly Rindfleisch and Darlene Wink were convicted of illegally campaigning during their county work hours.

Russell’s domestic partner was also charged with a child enticement incident which prosecutors turned up during the John Doe. A trial in that case is set for late January.