In yet another typical Scott Walker late Friday afternoon news dump, the Walker administration today released documents that show Cindy Archer, a longtime Walker aide implicated in the first John Doe criminal corruption probe, interviewed two finalists for the top IT position at the state public defender’s office before taking the job — and a big pay raise — for herself.

State Public Defender Kelli Thompson revealed Cindy Archer assisted in interviewing two finalists for the six-figure position — a private sector IT professional and the interim IT director at the UW State Hygiene Lab.
Earlier this week, the Beloit Daily News opined that Archer’s hiring didn’t “pass the smell test”, and its even harder to imagine it passing after information made public today.

Documents released by the Public Defender’s Office late Friday afternoon also show that Archer’s $113,460 salary exceeds the $91,872 to $109,620 pay scale included in the original jobs posting. In addition, documents show Archer had no prior direct IT management experience, compared to at least one other finalist whose resume was included extensive, hands-on state government IT experience going back to 1989.

Cindy Archer was a top aide to Gov. Scott Walker during his time as Milwaukee County executive. Secret emails released from the first John Doe investigation show Archer was part of an inner-circle of top campaign and administration insiders, including Scott Walker, who traded emails on a secret email network designed to conceal illegal activity and evade open records laws. Despite the knowledge that Archer was a key player in the secret email router scheme who used the secret email network to openly contemplate illegal activity, state Public Defender Kelli Thompson, the daughter of former Gov. Tommy Thompson, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel she had not talked to Archer about issues such as the secret email system.

The new developments in Archer’s hiring at the state public defenders office reek of classic crony politics; it shows how far Scott Walker and his administration will go to buy the silence of his longtime aide implicated in the first John Doe criminal corruption probe.

This is Archer’s fourth high-paying job since leaving her post as Walker’s second-in-command at the Department of Administration. In 2011, she was appointed to a position at the Department of Children and Families where she received a 65 percent pay raise over her predecessor.

“In a late Friday news dump, Walker’s administration conceded they hired someone for a six-figure IT job with no notable IT management experience and who contemplated illegal activity on a secret email network,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Friday. “This story stinks of Scott Walker using the power of his administration and taxpayer money to buy the silence of his longtime crony.”