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Report: Nearly $350,000 of taxpayer money spent on second John Doe probe

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin taxpayers continue to be billed for the John Doe investigation into the recall elections against Governor Scott Walker and Republican state senators.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says almost $350,000 have been spent on outside law firms to represent special prosecutor Francis Schmitz and other public officials connected with the probe.

It deals with allegations that Governor Walker and others broke election laws by coordinating the candidates' campaigns and fundraising from a dozen outside conservative groups.

Walker denied the allegations and insists the probe is over.

The Justice Department is representing the presiding judge in the case, Greg Peterson. As a result, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has said it would be a conflict of interest to represent other officials -- so the hiring of outside attorneys cannot be helped.

The Journal Sentinel said a half-dozen contracts have a total cap of $534,000. But at least one of those contracts is expected to be extended because it's only $60 away from its cap, with a lot more legal work to do.

A federal judge halted the probe last month, and prosecutors are appealing to get it going again.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)