Second former Walker aide to enter guilty plea in campaign felony charge
Post by Emily Mills on 10/10/2012 9:42am
A former aide to Gov. Scott Walker will enter a plea of guilty today for at least one of the four felony charges against her in Milwaukee County court, sources confirmed.
Kelly Rindfleisch will be the second campaign aide to then-County Executive Walker to plead guilty to campaigning from her county job on behalf of both Brett Davis' bid for lieutenant governor and Walker's run for governor.
Rindfleisch's attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on late Tuesday that a deal had been reached with the prosecution, though declined to discuss details other than to say it included "a lot of a la cartes."
A plea hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
The news comes just days after it was confirmed that the defense had issued a subpoena to Walker to have him take the stand and testify in the jury trial that had been scheduled to begin next week. Sources also indicated that Walker's attorney had been intending to file a motion to dismiss the subpoena. Rindfleisch's plea deal, however, will negate the need for the trial.
The episode is just the latest in a series related to the ongoing John Doe investigation that circles around several of Walker's former and current aides, and possibly Walker himself. The governor has denied being a target of the investigation, though evidence that he may in fact be has been presented.
Darlene Wink was the first former Walker aide to plead guilty in February to two misdemeanor charges of campaigning on county time. Sentencing in her case has been delayed, however, until November.
The John Doe also involves cases against former Walker associates Kevin D. Kavanaugh, who pleaded not guilty to felony theft and felony fraud in October related to taking money from a veteran's fund, and Timothy Russell, whose trial over similar charges has been postponed until December.
At least 13 people have so far been granted immunity in the investigation, including Walker spokesperson Cullen Werwie and former spokeswoman Fran McLaughlin.
Walker set up a legal defense fund earlier this year in order to help pay for any expenses related to the John Doe.
Wisconsin statutes only allow for the creation of such funds when "a state government official...is being investigated for or charged with a violation of campaign finance laws or prohibited election practices."
Emily Mills is Editor-At-Large for Dane101, as well as Editor of Our Lives Magazine. She is also a freelance writer, photographer, actor, and musician (drummer and singer in local band Little Red Wolf). Originally from several states up and down the Midwest Emily has called Madison home since 2000. Contact her at