Gov. Walker appears out of the loop on some details about two co - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Gov. Walker appears out of the loop on some details about two controversies facing his administration

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Gov. Scott Walker made comments to 27 News Wednesday suggesting he is out of the loop on some major controversies facing two agencies in his administration.

They deal with the criminal investigation into Lincoln Hills School and some missing public records at the Department of Administration (DOA).

The Department of Corrections placed 16 employees at Lincoln Hills School on paid administrative leave amid a criminal investigation into claims of abuse at the youth prison located north of Wausau.

A DOC spokesperson told 27 News Wednesday afternoon that two of those 16 employees were youth counselors, who actually resigned from the agency on December 7.

But corrections officials won't release position or salary information on the remaining 14 who are still being paid not to work. The Governor was asked why taxpayers don't have a right to that information.

"I don't know the answer. You're asking me to speculate on something I haven't talked about. We can certainly look into it for you though," said Gov. Walker.

The Governor then said he believes even that information is off limits due to the criminal investigation being conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

"I haven't talked to (Attorney General) Brad Schimel about that. I said I believe. I'll have to double check for you," said Gov. Walker.

But a spokesperson for AG Schimel told 27 News Wednesday evening he did not ask DOC to withhold that information.

The Governor said he is also unsure why DOA denied the Wisconsin State Journal access to an employee's work text messages last summer that may have shed light on a questionable loan handed out by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
    
"If you ask for information about state business and it came in - whether it's on the official email personal email or a text message - the expectation is that information from my office, everybody in my administration should be provided to you," said Gov. Walker.

The Governor said he has not inquired as to why DOA didn't follow that policy in this case, but said it doesn't mean his administration hasn't looked into the issue.
    
"I didn't say no one has, you asked me if I knew and I said 'no,'" said Gov. Walker.

That issue resurfaced this week because DOA had denied the State Journal's request for those text messages, by saying they were transitory records that didn't have to be saved.

That denial came last August, just a day after the state Public Records Board (PRB) changed the definition of transitory records.

The PRB rescinded that change on Monday.

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