MILWAUKEE -- A John Doe investigation led to the arrest of prominent commercial real estate agent Andrew Jensen. Jensen is a donor to the Governor Scott Walker campaign, and was released from jail Wednesday evening, without charges.
50-year-old Jensen walked out of the Milwaukee County Jail Wednesday evening, without a single word, and without any charges being filed against him. The Associated Press reports he was arrested for failure to cooperate with a John Doe investigation targeting some of Walker's current and former aides and supporters. John Doe proceedings are used to determine whether any crime has been committed.
Ryan Kinstler is a lawyer who has experience with John Doe investigations. He says it's a good bet there's more to Jensen's arrest than failing to cooperate with the investigation. "Someone, generally speaking, would have to be a little bit naughtier than that for a judge to have the authority to bring them into court, because there's been no crime committed. At least, a judge hasn't determined there's been a crime committed," Kinstler said.
Jensen gave $850 to Walker's campaign for Wisconsin Governor. He has also contributed to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and given $400 to committees to elect <runtime:topic id="ORGOV0000005">Democrats</runtime:topic> in the state Legislature.
Over the last several months, a number of Walker's current and former aides have been granted immunity for their testimony, including his current spokesman Cullen Werwie. Back in September, computers were seized from the Madison home of Cynthia Archer, who worked for Walker in county and state government. Shortly after this incident, Walker spoke about the investigation, and ever since, he's maintained he has done nothing wrong.
"I know how I've conducted myself in public service. It's the traditions I had in public service. It's part of how I obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. We operate on high integrity. I don't know what all the details are involved with (the investigation) and probably won't know for some time," Walker said.
Jensen's arrest raises more questions about the extent and direction of the ongoing secret probe, which began in May 2010 and has served as a distraction for Walker as he faces a possible recall election next year motivated by anger over his proposal effectively ending collective bargaining rights for public workers.
No one with knowledge of the John Doe investigation is allowed to talk about it, so there's no way to know where all of this is heading. "If people don't feel secrecy is going to be maintained, people won't be as willing to cooperate with the investigation, so it's important to keep it secret so that a good investigation can be done," Kinstler said.
A Milwaukee County Sheriff's office spokesperson says Jensen was released at the request of the Milwaukee District Attorney. The DA's office will review his case next month, but so far, Jensen doesn't face any charges.