Fresh off the heels of the revelation two weeks ago that Gov. Scott Walker (pictured, left) was listed as a potential witness in the upcoming criminal trial of former aide Kelly Rindfleisch comes news Gov. Walker has been named as a potential witness in the criminal trial of Tim Russell, a close associate of Walker’s who served as deputy chief of staff and the Milwaukee County housing director during Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee County Executive.
Walker shows up on prosecutors’ list of 42 prospective witnesses at Russell’s trial on three counts of felony theft, including allegations Russell used his position as president of the Heritage Guard Preservation Society (and the access to that group’s bank accounts) to embezzle $21,042 from a fund intended to help veterans and their families. Russell also stands accused of stealing smaller sums of money from two candidates for the Milwaukee County Board whose campaigns he assisted.
According to the criminal complaint filed in his pending criminal case, Russell is alleged to have used more than $20,000 of the money he stole to pay for vacations in the Caribbean and Hawaii for himself and his domestic partner and for a political trip to Atlanta in 2010 for a meeting to discuss the presidential candidacy of Herman Cain.
The fact that Gov. Scott Walker could be called as a potential witness in not one, but two criminal trials involving former high-level aides in his office is unprecedented, not to mention more than a little ironic. After all, for often as many conservatives here in Wisconsin called former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle a criminal, it certainly appears Scott Walker will go down in our state’s history as being more closely linked to convicted criminals than any of his predecessors.