Probe surrounding Wis. governor apparently growing

September 14, 2011 (CHICAGO)

In this Intelligence Report: The raid was on a former top aide to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in what appears to be an expanding corruption investigation.

Wednesday's raid is the latest carried out by federal authorities on several of Governor Scott Walker's top staffers, all state employees who recently resigned.

Even though the search warrant was executed on a home in the state capital of Madison, they were Milwaukee FBI agents. It appears that the federal investigation concerns Governor Walker's time as Milwaukee county executive.

"Saw about two or three more, four or five, then I saw agents getting out of the car and putting on their jackets, that's what identified it, FBI on the back of the jackets," said Madison resident Dale Reichers.

Reichers says he saw the law enforcement teams show up at his neighbor's house before 7 a.m. His neighbor is Cynthia Archer, one of Governor Walker's most trusted allies--until last month, when she abruptly resigned her $124,000-a-year job as deputy secretary of the agency that oversees state contracts.

Archer had followed Walker to the governor's office last November after she was his top county staffer in Milwaukee. Walker's Milwaukee chief of staff Tom Nardelli also followed to the capitol and like Archer also quit his $90,000 new state job this summer.

As FBI agents searched Archer's home, she wasn't seen. Witnesses saw at least one large box being removed and put into an agent's car.

"They were here for quite awhile," Reichers said. "The kids came by to go off to school and they were probably here for about two, two and half hours."

An FBI agent called it "a law enforcement operation" and would say nothing else.

The grand-jury-like investigation appears to be targeting ex-employees of Governor Walker, with the focus being on their activities while working in Milwaukee County and suspicions they did political work on public time. Two previous federal raids on Walker staffers ended with the seizure of work computers.

There was no comment Wednesday from Governor Walker, who has retained legal counsel, although he claims not to have been personally contacted by federal agents.

Walker's campaign hired a former Milwaukee U.S. attorney to represent his interests if the investigation comes closer to him.

The current federal prosecutor in Milwaukee is offering no comment on the investigation.

As for Archer -- whose home was raided Wednesday -- no one answered the door when reporters knocked.

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