The Wisconsin Democratic Party called Wednesday on the state's Government Accountability Board to investigate Gov. Scott Walker (R) over his use of a legal defense fund.

Walker has said he is using the fund to cooperate with the "John Doe" investigation of his time as Milwaukee county executive. He recently moved $60,000 to the fund to pay his defense lawyers.

Mike Tate, the chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, says state law permits Walker to set up such a fund only if he is charged or under investigation for election or campaign violations, and says Walker should clarify if those provisions apply to him.

"The public deserves to know why Scott Walker is permitted to create this fund," he said in a conference call with reporters. "Never before in Wisconsin history has a sitting governor had or needed a criminal defense fund."

"The question we have is this: If Scott Walker is not a target of the John Doe investigation, as he claims, how is he legally permitted to establish and operate a legal defense fund?" Tate said. "Is Scott Walker being investigated, or likely charged, with some other crimes?"

The Wisconsin Democrats are asking the GAB to address their complaint at their next meeting on May 15.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), who is running to unseat Walker as governor in the upcoming recall election, made a similar statement Wednesday.

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