Tim Russell, a longtime former aide to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, has been arrested and charged with three counts of theft. This is part of a wide-ranging “John Doe” investigation into improprieties by Walker and staff dating all the way back to his days as Milwaukee County executive and continuing through his gubernatorial tenure.
Computer records show Russell was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor count of theft. One source said the charges are tied to Operation Freedom, an annual military appreciation day held at the zoo.
In 2010, Walker’s county administration had asked prosecutors to investigate what had happened to $11,000 raised in 2007 for the event [...]
Also charged Thursday was Brian Pierick, Russell’s longtime partner. Pierick was charged with one felony count of child enticement.
That last change, according to the court documents, looks like an “exposed sex organ” to a minor in Waukesha County.
Russell worked as the county housing director under Walker. He already faced the seizure of his computer back in August 2010, which explains why he never accompanied Walker to Madison in his Administration. Russell was a district director in Tommy Thompson’s Administration, running the Milwaukee office. He faces up to ten years in prison on the charges. They are detailed here.
Nobody believed that this investigation solely had to do with sock-puppeting commenters working on government time. The impression that I get is that Walker involved himself with a number of shady individuals during his time as county executive and these happen to be the same people involved in practically every Republican Administration in Wisconsin. The more you look into the connections in the state’s Republican infrastructure, the more you see what amounts to a criminal enterprise.
Obviously this should be an issue in the Walker recall election. This John Doe investigation has been a dark cloud hanging over Walker and it only will continue as this doesn’t wrap up the probe at all.
Blue Cheddar has a handy page with full updates on the entire investigation, which he calls Walkergate.