Wisdems press release on John Doe, Walker hiring

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Friday, April 13, 2012
Contact: Graeme Zielinski, WisDems Communications Director
414-364-1077; [email protected]

Memo to Reporters: BREAKING: New Information Answers John Doe Question; Reveals Scott Walker Was Solely Responsible for Hire of Figures Charged In Corruption Probe

To: Interested Reporters
Date: Friday, April 13, 2012
From: Melissa Baldauff, WisDems Research Director
Re: BREAKING: New Information Answers John Doe Question; Reveals Scott Walker Was Solely Responsible for Hire of Figures Charged In Corruption Probe

New research obtained by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin reveals that Scott Walker alone was responsible for the hire and promotion of Tim Russell and Kelly Rindfleisch, two key figures in the John Doe criminal corruption probe that has, to date, charged six close Walker aides and supporters with 15 felonies, resulted in two convictions and required Scott Walker himself to establish a criminal defense fund.

Personnel records obtained through an Open Records Request from the Milwaukee County Department of Human Resources show that Scott Walker was solely responsible for hiring Kelly Rindfleisch and Tim Russell, and for their subsequent promotions to increasingly trusted, responsible and lucrative positions in the Walker administration.
Russell, charged with embezzling charitable contributions intended for wounded veterans and families of fallen military servicemembers and using the money, in part, to finance illegal corporate contributions to Scott Walker’s campaign, is well known as a longtime aide and adviser to Scott Walker who served in a number of roles in the Walker administration, including Deputy Chief of Staff. Scott Walker alone signed off on Russell’s hire with the County – available to view here.
Rindfleisch’s hire to the County Executive’s office, however, has been wrapped in suspicion. In court documents released in the criminal investigation into Rindfleisch’s alleged felony misuse of public office, Walker’s then-Chief of Staff Tom Nardelli stated that he had been unaware of the circumstances of Rindfleisch’s hire to the office he ran. Rindfleisch stated that she was hired to the office to do political work on Walker’s campaign, under the direction and supervision of Tim Russell.

Milwaukee County personnel records indicate that Scott Walker alone signed off on both Rindfleisch's initial hire to his administration and her subsequent promotion to Deputy Chief of Staff.
Scott Walker has continually avoided and dodged repeated point blank questions about what role he played in Rindfleisch’s hire. Now it is clear that Walker’s evasiveness was an attempt to distance him from the criminal activity perpetrated on his own behalf that was going on nearly constantly right under his own nose by people he put into power.
The John Doe criminal corruption probe has raised serious questions about Scott Walker's truthfulness, his willingness to use taxpayer resources for his own benefit, a pattern of ethical transgressions that remove any doubt about his knowledge of the improprieties, his close association with individuals loyal to him who now are accused of serious crimes and his own part in a conspiracy to hide these activities from the public.

Authorized and Paid for by The Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Michael J. Tate, Chair