Apr 5, 2012

Scott Walker's Former Top Aide Stalls Veterans-Funds Embezzlement Trial

Tim Russell, Scott Walker's former Deputy Chief of Staff and close aide
WisPolitics is reporting that Tim Russell, accused of stealing $1,000s from wounded veterans and families of military servicemembers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other crimes, made a motion this week seeking his third lead counsel since January.

Russell, a long-time confidante and top aide of Scott Walker's, was the beneficiary of Walker's transferring "the finances of Operation Freedom to an entity that Russell took over," despite having a shady reputation as "ethically challenged and someone to avoid," as Bruce Murphy described in January. Russell then embezzled from Operation Freedom.

Scott Walker continues to play his we-don't-know-anything; just-want-to-help-the-criminal-investigation line that is garnering increasing ridicule.

Scott Walker e-mail on secret, illegal system to aide Tim Russell,
former Walker deputy chief of staff
Any of Russell's criminal proceedings—motions, hearing, trial—would prove politically embarrassing to Walker as he faces an early June Recall election. 

Consequently, observers see Russell's machinations as stalling tactics to prevent embarrassment to his former friend Scott Walker, though several other aides have already been implicated, pleaded guilty or reached immunity deals in the ongoing John Doe investigation. Russell needs the leverage.

Word is Russell and Walker are on the outs; and Walker for his part is running around the state signing Democratically-drafted veterans' initiatives.

Some eight weeks before the June recall election, Scott Walker has suddenly discovered that helping veterans, and engaging in bipartisanship is a good thing.

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