The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, citing numerous anonymous legal sources familiar with the investigation, said Monday former assistant U.S. Attorney Francis Schmitz has been put in charge of a "John Doe" investigation into election fraud that may have taken place during bitter recall elections in 2011 and 2012 that came about as a result of controversial legislation pushed through by Republican Gov. Scott Walker and allied lawmakers in the state legislature curbing public sector unions' collective bargaining rights.
Schmitz, the Journal Sentinel said, spent 30 years as a federal prosecutor and was once a finalist for the U.S. attorney's office in Milwaukee.
A John Doe investigation functions much like a federal grand jury, with prosecutors empowered to subpoena documents and compel testimony -- all in private -- while investigating suspected wrongdoing.
The Journal Sentinel said it isn't immediately clear what the investigation is investigating but said it was at least one legislative leader and the governor's contest.
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