Gov. Scott Walker, who has been involved in two secret John Doe investigations, signed a bill Friday doing away with the probes into political misconduct.
The Republican-controlled Legislature this week passed the bill eliminating John Does for any kind of political misconduct, including bribes, theft and campaign finance violations. They could still be used for violent felonies and some drug crimes.
Walker wasn’t charged in either investigation involving him. The first focused on former aides and associates of Walker when he was Milwaukee County executive. Six people were convicted of a variety of crimes, including misconduct in office.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ended the second John Doe investigation in July, saying there was nothing unconstitutional about the campaign coordination between Walker’s 2012 recall committee and conservative groups.
John Does are like a grand jury, but are done before a judge who ultimately decides whether a crime has been committed. Witnesses are under gag orders, and prosecutors can compel people to testify, obtain search warrants and collect evidence in secret.