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Milwaukee mayor under investigation

A secret John Doe investigation has been launched into irregularities involving campaign finance reports of Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt, sources with knowledge of the probe said Friday.

The investigation was approved by Milwaukee County Chief District Court Judge Michael Sullivan, the sources said, and was assigned to Circuit Judge Victor Manian.

The move follows attempts by the district attorney's office to obtain documentation from the Pratt campaign for certain campaign finance entries on Pratt's publicly filed reports. ...

A John Doe hearing is an investigative tool used infrequently by prosecutors to help determine whether a crime has been committed and, if so, who might have committed it. Prosecutors can subpoena witnesses to testify during the hearings, and proceedings can be held behind closed doors, but they don't have to be, according to state law.

A Doe investigation can result in a criminal complaint, or no action. The judge can appoint a special prosecutor if the district attorney has a conflict of interest. -- Inquiry targets Pratt's finances (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)