I’m finally back to talking Walkergate. No rush, really. This whole thing isn’t wrapping up anytime soon (all “hopes” aside).
Timothy Russell is looking at 30 months of initial confinement and 30 months of supervision for 1 felony count of embezzlement. If you’re not acquainted with the situation, you can catch up with an article by Schultze in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – but there are a couple of BIG problems with it.
First, the paper does not note that Judge Hansher asked Bruce Landgraf to conduct a pre-sentencing investigation with the added comment,
“I have some questions here. There are some things I’m not sure about.”
I know about it because I was present. I’d refer you to some sort of C-SCPAN-style video right about now but there is none available. There is 1 video camera allowed in the court which is commandeered by the official media for their own internal use. TMJ4 had camera duty that day.
We can only hope for a revealing sentencing presentation after the investigation such as that of Kelly Rindfleisch’s hearing which let the public know that “the mixing of county and campaign business was a routine practice, and was carried out with the knowledge of high level officials, including Scott Walker” as WUWM put it.
Second, the paper does not include the facts that let you know Scott Walker was lying about his full cooperation with the DA.
The paper says Tom Nardelli alerted the Milwaukee County DA of a shortfall of about $11,000 in “Operation Freedom” money in 2009
neglects to note that the reason the investigation turned into a secret one – - known as a “John Doe” probe in Wisconsin — is because Scott Walker’s office stonewalled the DA. And the reason that you and I came to know this is because Timothy Russell’s own legal representation, Dennis Krueger, let the cat out of the bag by directing a document straight to reporter Daniel Bice – of the very same newspaper I am chastising right now: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Little historical bonus, here: Dennis Krueger let that out just as Walker was readying himself to debate his then political opponent Tom Barrett in late May.
Russell wasn’t being very nice to Walker, was he.
Compared to Kelly Reindfleish, Timothy Russell got thrown clear under the bus. Rindfleisch got bought out by sponsored legal representation and highly-paid jobs from Walker and friends. As Landgraf put it, “it is my judgement that her loyalties rested and continue to rest with those who have supported her since November 1, 2010 viz. the Republican Party of Wisconsin and the Friends of Scott Walker”.
Rindfleisch did go so far as to admit she used a secret network installed by Russell to raise money for Brett Davis, the guy who was running for Lt. Governor back in the day and who currently presides over the Medicaid program (that can’t quite account for where $2 billion in Medicaid funds went to but whatever. Nobody is freaking out about that.). But that’s where it stops. Rindfleisch was so protective of Davis that Landgraf seems to have, in frustration, despaired of pegging him on a crime. Davis is according to Landgraf, “most conspicuous by virtue of the fact that he remains uncharged”.
I have the funny feeling there’s a hint in there …can’t quite put my finger on it.
(BRETT DAVIS! BRETT DAVIS!)
In contrast, Timothy Russell’s current legal representation is provided by Parker Mathers, a youthful attorney whose freckled and suited form reminds me of those wholesome Sears catalogs we had in the house when I was a kid. Mathers is a public defender, a court-appointed attorney who came on the case in August 2012. He’s the 2nd Democratic Party-affiliated lawyer that’s worked with Russell (Michael Maistelman was the other) and his 5th attorney in all. Russell first retained Democratic Party-affiliated attorney Maistelman (a smidge less wholesome, a lot more experienced) who then had a dispute with Andrew Franklin – a 2nd high power attorney brought on the case – because money was in short supply. Then came John Birdsall. Birdsall was only on the case for 16 days and withdrew. Dennis Krueger then came on the scene and then walked off the case when he got a job in Fond du Lac County as a prosecutor there.
Did Walker and company lure attorneys away in an effort to delay the Walkergate case as long as possible – certainly until after the elections? (Feel free to reply with one of those “Does ____ shit in the woods?” responses in comments.)
Why has the friendship between Russell and Walker dissolved so?
One guess is because Russell is (was?) a romantic partner to Brian Pierick, the guy who tried to hook up with a 17 year old in what’s been nicknamed “the porn van”. By association with that activity, Russell is just too toxic for Walker to protect or link to in any way.
While technically the 17-year-old nicknamed “DR” lied by saying he was 19-years-old on Craigslist when he tried to connect with “a daddy”, there’s also the fact that a search of the computers in Russell and Pierick’s home revealed porn of males age 12-19. [full criminal complaint]
My time is running out and I have to move on. So I leave you with one last puzzlement:
If Timothy Russell isn’t getting charged with installing a secret wireless computer system in Scott Walker’s office -and as far as we can tell, he is not because that is not “embezzlement”- then who IS going to be charged with that?
Would the prosecutor just let that go?
Kevin Kavanaugh will be sentenced for a felony theft conviction Dec. 7. Kavanaugh faces up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine for stealing more than $51,000 – mostly from Operation Freedom.
Brian Pierick faces a motion hearing on January 22nd, 2013 at 2:30PM in Room 162 of the Waukesha County Courthouse – 515 W. Moreland Blvd.
Timothy Russell has a court appointment the same day but in the morning- Jan. 22, 2013 at 8:30AM.
Could be a fascinating day for news in Wisconsin.