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Gov. Scott Walker calls new John Doe probe "sidebar issue"

NEW BERLIN, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker refuses to say whether he, his aides, or his lawyers have been contacted in a newly-reported John Doe investigation into state issues. 

After an appearance in New Berlin Monday, the Republican Walker called it a "sidebar issue" -- and he would not be distracted by it. 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday that former federal prosecutor Francis Schmitz is heading up the investigation. 

The report also said the probe may be dealing an unnamed legislative leader and alleged election law violations from the recall contests of the past two years. 

The probe apparently began last year with evidence stemming from the previous John Doe into illegal campaigning for Walker when he was the Milwaukee County executive. 

Walker said he did not want to be pulled into the John Doe because of its secrecy rules. He said he expected revelations like this now that the Democrats have a candidate running against him, Mary Burke. 

Walker stopped short, however, of saying that the new disclosure was political. 

Democrats denied leaking it.

Senate GOP leader Scott Fitzgerald refused comment. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he only learned of the probe just recently, and he was not aware of anyone being targeted by prosecutors.