Investigation finds Walker's top aides pressed for taxpayer-funded loan to struggling construction company

MADISON (AP) — A newspaper investigation has found Governor Scott Walker's top aides pressed for a taxpayer-funded $500,000 loan to a struggling construction company.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports ( ) that Walker's economic development agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, awarded the unsecured loan to Building Committee Inc., owned by William Minahan.

The 2011 loan wasn't repaid and is among several WEDC loans that state auditors recently questioned.

Former agency head Paul Jadin says the deal was pushed by then-Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, who originally wanted to provide a forgivable $4.3 million loan.

Huebsch's push came after Minahan gave Walker's 2010 gubernatorial campaign a last-minute $10,000 donation.

Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said Walker wasn't aware of Minahan's donation.

In a statement, Huebsch said he often helped connect small businesses with resources.