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Bruce Murphy: Scott Walker rigging the game in John Chisholm lawsuit

Bruce Murphy: Scott Walker rigging the game in John Chisholm lawsuit

The jackals are nipping at Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm’s heels.

Chisholm initiated the John Doe investigation that’s looking at campaign collusion between Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign staff and right-wing “dark money” groups that backed Walker in the 2012 recall campaign.

Now Wisconsin Club for Growth, one of the groups under scrutiny, is suing Chisolm for violating its free speech, freedom to assemble and equal protection rights.

And Walker gets to decide who Chisholm’s attorney will be and the attorney’s hourly rate, writes Bruce Murphy in Urban Milwaukee.

Walker has erected a “Chinese Wall” between himself and the case, appointing his Chief Legal Counsel Brian Hagedorn, to make the calls.

Hagedorn, Murphy reports, has set the rate at $175 an hour, considerably less than the $300 an hour Walker has approved in the past.

“Hagedorn also gets to set a cap on the total amount paid to the attorney,” Murphy writes. “That is another way that the Walker administration may be able to control how much representation Chisholm and company receive.”

It’s a long story, which ties into another recent Murphy column about a recall effort against Chisholm, orchestrated in part by conservatives upset with Chisholm’s involvement in the John Doe probe.

Reports Murphy: “Eric O’Keefe, head of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, has called the probe ‘political payback by elected prosecutors against conservative activists for their political successes in Wisconsin.’ His group has threatened a federal lawsuit against Chisholm. But a recall against a DA investigating a recall election would be the ultimate slap down.”

Steven Elbow joined The Capital Times in 1999 and has covered law enforcement in addition to city, county and state government. He has also worked for the Portage Daily Register and has written for the Isthmus weekly newspaper in Madison.