JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) says he simply didn't remember his staff used personal email to communicate about state business throughout 2011.
Walker made those comments at a news conference Thursday, exactly one week after a 27 News investigation brought revelations about that personal email use to light.
On May 28, 27 News asked Gov. Walker if former Chief of Staff Keith Gilkes, former Dept. of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch or anyone else in his administration had ever used personal email to communicate about state business.
"Not that I'm aware," responded Gov. Walker at that time.
On October 12, a public records request produced 980 pages worth of personal emails that showed both of those staffers communicated with Walker and several others in his office about state business during much of 2011.
Walker said Thursday that it was a long time ago and he just didn't remember.
27 News asked Gov. Walker - with the scrutiny over the use of personal email in the Milwaukee County Executive's Office,that led to a John Doe investigation and six criminal convictions for Walker aides - if would he understand that some people wouldn't believe he simply didn't remember the personal emails being sent in 2011?
"Do you remember emails from 4 and a half years ago?," responded Gov. Walker. "I would guess most people if you had - some people have multiple email accounts - I don't know if you ask them if they had one at their work or if they changed over, which one it is out there. You asked me, I said 'I don't remember.' I didn't say definitively one way or the other."
The Governor repeated what his staff told 27 News last week, that ultimately they complied with our public records request and turned over all of the personal emails they had containing state business.
Governor Walker nor his office has provided 27 News with any reason as to why the personal email communication among staffers dropped off substantially after Keith Gilkes resigned as chief of staff in September 2011.
It is not illegal for state officials to use personal email for official business, but they must keep all of those emails and turn them over for public records requests.
Over 50 of the personal emails from 2011 were not forwarded to a state account in the Governor's office until July 31, 2015. But a Walker spokesperson said 27 News was given all of the personal emails sent for state business that have ever existed.