Walker aide Rindfleisch was no novice; knew the laws and ignored them | Wis.Community

Walker aide Rindfleisch was no novice; knew the laws and ignored them

Kelly Rindfleisch is innocent until proven guilty; that's the law.

Having said that, let's look at what we know, and what has been alleged about her, one of two  ex-Scott Walker staffers to be charged today -- in her case with four felonies -- with doing campaign work at taxpayer expense.  It's breathtaking:

-- She not only raised money on taxpayer time, but she double-dipped and also was being paid at the same time by Brett Davis's campaign for lieutenant governor.  While Milwaukee County taxpayers paid her $59,560 a year as Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's deputy chief of staff, she also collected $5,000 from Davis's campaign.

-- The criminal complaint against her she sent more than 300 emails to Davis during her working hours at the county, most related to fundraising. She also sent or received some 1,380 emails related fundraising activities during working hours. The emails listed in the complaint that were sent to Davis, a state lawmaker at the time, went to a private account.  She also communicated a lot with Cullen Werwie, who ran Davis's campaign and now is Walker's spokesman in the governor's office.  (Werwie has testified in the John Doe and was granted immunity from prosecution, which is a far cry from being innocent.)

-- Rindfleisch didn't even comply with the law requiring Milwaukee County employees to live in the county. Instead, she stayed a couple nights a week at the home of Jim Villa, a former county chief of staff for Walker. Walker's top aides, if not Walker himself, apparently felt themselves above the law, whether residency or a prohibition on fund-raising.

-- Rindfleisch was no babe in the woods who didn't know the rules.  She had been granted immunity in connection with the state caucus scandal 10 years ago that led to charges against both Democrats and Republicans who had employees doing campaign work on state time. She worked for the Assembly Republican Caucus from May 1999 to March 2000 and the Senate Republican Caucus from March 2000 to December 2001. She worked for then-Senate Minority Leader Mary Panzer, R-West Bend, when investigators interviewed her. Rindfleisch told investigators that she spent part of her time organizing and planning campaign fundraisers while working for the state. She spoke with agents after being given immunity. It was then-Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen's hiring of Sherry Schultz as a full-time Republican fundraiser on the state payroll that brought felony charges against Jensen.

-- Rindfleisch exchanged more than 1,000 emails -- on county taxpayer time -- with Keith Gilkes, Walker's campaign manager, Gilkes' deputy, or the communications director.  Walker, we are to believe, did not know Rindfleisch was doing campaign work on county time.

I guess now I'll be disqualified from serving on a Rindfleisch jury.  But I sense a plea bargain coming on.

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Published

January 26, 2012 - 5:24pm

Author

randomness