"The bill is in, and it wasn't cheap," The Journal Sentinel reported breathlessly on Saturday.

But no, it wasn’t the taxpayer bill for the endless John Doe probe. Instead, Dan Bice’s story dwelt on the governor’s legal bills. At length.

Walker's total legal tab due to the John Doe probe: $650,000. Prosecutors closed the case without bringing charges against the governor or anyone in his current administration.

Bice includes the apparently obligatory quotes from Democrat party Chair Mike Tate and One Wisconsin Now. But the story has a notable, and glaring omission.

What did the investigation cost taxpayers? Our  best guess, the total cost will dwarf Walker’s legal tab and, unlike the governor’s bill, it was all taxpayer dollars.

So far the DA’s office is stonewalling the question.

You might recall that the DA denied the MacIver News Service's open records request for the "total number of hours employees spent working on the John Doe investigation," because no such document exists.

Deputy District Attorney James Martin told the MacIver Institute that the DA's office could not provide the information requested because under open records law, their office is not required "create a new record for your benefit."

Bice is telling readers that he’s on the case. In one email he explains:

"In fact, I am working on a piece on the costs of the investigation The DA's office won't give me figures. But Judge Nettesheim turned over documents with his costs Thursday. Another reporter and I have the salaries for each ADA who worked on the case. We just have to make a solid estimate on the amount of time they each spent on the case during the 33 months. Look for something in the next week. "

We are, of course, on the edge of our seats. And we will be quite interested to see if Bice's "estimate" gets the kind of headline play the Walker legal bill story got.