When a 15-year-old boy was killed in 2010 due to the collapse of a concrete slab that fell from a Milwaukee County-owned parking structure, no one figured there would be any ties to a "John Doe" investigation into associates of the governor of Wisconsin.
On June 24, 2010, the 15-year-old boy was with a friend and his parents on their way to Summerfest at O'Donnell Park when a 13-ton concrete panel fell from the parking garage and killed the boy. The friend's mother was also injured and lost a portion of her leg.
The deceased boy's family, along with the injured woman and her family, filed lawsuits alleging the county or building contractors who built the garage were responsible for the fatal accident and the woman's injuries.
The John Doe investigation into associates for Governor Walker turned up a number of emails and documents. During the sentencing of a county executive, an email was discovered that might prove relevant to the O'Donnell case. The subject of the email was "O'Donnell" and was sent from the county executive being sentenced to one of Walker's staff aides. The content of the email instructed the aide to stay on top of other staff members to ensure that no papers surfaced detailing a problem at the O'Donnell parking garage.
At the time the O'Donnell accident occurred, Walker was only a candidate running for governor, and was still working as an executive for Milwaukee County. During his campaign for governor, there was also alleged criticism of Walker stating that he failed to do necessary maintenance on O'Donnell.
Not surprisingly, the attorneys for the O'Donnell case want to know if there are more documents relevant to their case. The official Doe investigation ended in February: however, the judge residing over the O'Donnell lawsuit notified the judge from the Doe case about the potential relevant documents. He has agreed to submit all of the other documents to the O'Donnell judge for review.
If there is any negligence found on part of the county regarding the O'Donnell parking garage, they will undoubtedly be held responsible for the wrongful death of the 15-year-old boy and the injuries suffered by the woman. The attorneys in the O'Donnell case are diligently following their leads, which is why it pays to have good representation when accidents like this occur through no fault of the injured parties.
jsonline.com, "Some John Doe records may be made public in O'Donnell lawsuit" Steve Schultze and Dave Umhoefer, Jul. 19, 2013