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Federal appeals court blocks ruling forcing prosecutors to pay damages in John Doe probe

CHICAGO (WTAQ) - A federal appeals court in Chicago is apparently keeping the door open for Wisconsin prosecutors to continue their John Doe probe into the state's recall elections.  

Monday, a three-judge appellate panel blocked Judge Rudolph Randa from making prosecutors pay damages -- at least for now -- to the Wisconsin Club for Growth.

Randa has twice called a halt to the John Doe, saying he agrees that it violates the Club for Growth's free speech rights. He has said he would not order damages while the case is being appealed.

Prosecutors have moved ahead with an appeal to try and get the investigation restored, in the midst of reported settlement talks that would end the two-year-old Doe probe.  

The investigation involves alleged illegal coordination for spending and fundraising activities between private groups and Republican candidates in the 2011 and '12 recall votes -- including that of Governor Scott Walker.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)