Gov. Walker says he's 'disappointed' over charges

CREATED Jan. 5, 2012 - UPDATED: Jan. 5, 2012

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MADISON - Governor Walker released the following statement today following an announcement from the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office:
 
"My chief of staff at Milwaukee County, Tom Nardelli, brought to my attention concerns about a local veterans organization and funds collected several years ago for an event honoring veterans.   Mr. Nardelli, with my support, asked the Milwaukee County District Attorney to investigate those concerns.  We appreciate learning that the District Attorney's office investigated those concerns."

The statement comes after three people were arrested in a John Doe case, including former Walker aide and current state employee.

Gov. Scott Walker says he's "extremely disappointed" that his former longtime aide Tim Russell has been charged with felony embezzlement for allegedly stealing more than $21,000 from a group he ran that was supposed to help veterans and their families.

Walker was asked questions by reporters about the investigation during a conference call Thursday afternoon.  Walked started, "I believe when looking at the news announced today that certain comes...in large part because of the initial concern raised by Tom Nardelli, my former chief of staff as to these funds."

The governor was then asked about his knowledge surrounding the John Doe investigation.  He said, "The only contact we had was through Tom Nardelli quite some time ago in initially bringing this up.  That time we didn't know who may or may not be involved. It was just our concern about the funds and what may or may not have happened with those."

Governor Walker was then asked about how this news would affect his recall election.  "In the end people will realize it was my office at the time that brought this to the attention of the district attorney's office and we're thankful the DA acted."