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Wis. governor hires defense lawyers

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MADISON, Wis., Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Friday he has hired defense counsel ahead of his planned meeting with prosecutors investigating his current and former aides.

In a statement released Friday by his campaign, Walker -- a Republican who faces a possible recall election -- repeated that he has done nothing wrong, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Milwaukee County prosecutors have been conducting a John Doe investigation that has so far resulted in charges being brought against four former Walker employees and political appointees.

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Walker did not say when he is scheduled to meet with prosecutors in the office of Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, but did say the meeting will be voluntary, the newspaper said.

"To assemble additional background information, I hired counsel to insure that I am in the best position possible to continue aiding the inquiry," the governor's statement said.

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The Journal Sentinel described one of Walker's two attorneys, Michael Steinle, as one of Milwaukee's most prominent criminal defense lawyer. The other, John Gallo, is a former federal prosecutor.

Walker has said he is not a target of the investigation but declined last week to answer a question about whether prosecutors had contacted him, the newspaper said.

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Darlene Wink, a county employee when Walker was Milwaukee County executive, has agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges of using public resources to raise funds for his 2010 gubernatorial campaign. A former Walker deputy chief of staff, Kelly Rindfleisch, has been charged with four felony counts of misconduct in public office.

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Kevin Kavanaugh, appointed by Walker to the Milwaukee County Veterans Service Commission, and a former Walker deputy chief of staff, Timothy D. Russell, have both been charged with embezzling more than $60,000 from a fund intended to benefit veterans, the Journal Sentinel reported.

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