Legal defense of rogue John Doe agents costs taxpayers nearly $1.2 million

Published August 24, 2015

So how much has it cost Wisconsin taxpayers to defend the rogue prosecutors of a political investigation that has been ordered shut down by the state Supreme Court?

More than $1.1 million and counting – $1,189,199.70 to be precise, according to information obtained by Wisconsin Watchdog through a records request. The records were provided by the state Department of Administration.

And the bill continues to grow.

Taxpayers spent $407,558.25 to defend special prosecutor Francis Schmitz in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by targets of the lengthy John Doe investigation into 29 conservative organizations and the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker.

The check went to von Briesen, Roper, a law firm based in Madison and Milwaukee.

Taxpayers have paid $442,903.01 to Wilson, Elser PC, a national law firm that represented Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, and his assistant DAs, Bruce Landgraf and David Robles in the federal lawsuit.

The complaint was filed in February 2014 by conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and Wisconsin Club for Growth. A federal judge originally ordered the John Doe investigation shut down and said the civil rights lawsuit against the prosecutors could go on. An appeals court later dismissed the lawsuit, asserting that it belonged in state not federal court.

O’Keefe and the club alleged that Chisholm, the Democrat DA who launched the politically charged probe in August 2012, and the other prosecutors, trampled on conservatives’ constitutional rights through a partisan probe motivated by revenge.

Read More at Wisconsin Watchdog

M.D. Kittle ([email protected]) is a reporter for An earlier version of this article was published at Reprinted with permission.