Three unnamed people have asked the Wisconsin Court of Appeals to temporarily halt a secret investigation of campaign fundraising and spending during Wisconsin’s recent recall elections. Madison attorney Dean Strang filed the five motions Thursday, according to online court records. The filings name special prosecutor Francis Schmitz and initially named retired Kenosha County Circuit Judge Barbara Kluka, who was originally in charge of the investigation. The filings were amended this week to reflect that the investigation is now being overseen by retired Appeals Court Judge Gregory Peterson. Kluka has not said why she recused herself. Copies of the court records were not available because Strang has filed motions to seal the petitions and related records. The filings, called petitions for supervisory writs, are requests that higher courts review how the investigation is being conducted.
Strang is seeking to stay the investigation and also has filed motions suggesting the matter be sent to the state Supreme Court. For now, the cases are before the Madison-based Court of Appeals panel.
Strang, a longtime criminal defense attorney, declined to comment Tuesday.
Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf referred questions to Schmitz, who did not return calls.
Sources have said the investigation — first disclosed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — has spread to at least five counties and is looking at whether such conservative groups as the Wisconsin Club for Growth coordinated illegally with GOP candidates or others during the 2011 and 2012 recall races. In the most expensive contest, Gov. Scott Walker beat back an attempt by Democrats to remove him from office last year.
Full Article: Court filings seek to stop Doe probe into recall elections.