Hot off the presses this morning I came across this story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by Journal Sentinel watchdog journalists Daniel Bice and Steve Schultze.
Kelly Rindfleisch, a former top aide to Gov. Scott Walker accused of misconduct in office, has reached a tentative deal with prosecutors in which she will plead guilty to at least one felony, sources close to the case said Tuesday.This is huge news. As many of you know Scott Walker was called to be a witness next week during the trial.
Rindfleisch's attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, confirmed the tentative deal but declined to discuss it in detail. He described the deal as including "a lot of a la cartes."
"It's a complicated, long story," he said. "We've agreed conceptually."
Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf said only that Rindfleisch was scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a plea hearing.
Sources said the terms were to be finalized Wednesday.
Rindfleisch, 43, was set to go to trial next week on four felony misconduct charges for doing campaign work at her county job at the courthouse. In 2010, she was deputy chief of staff to Walker, who was then the Milwaukee County executive and a candidate for governor.
Walker had been subpoenaed to testify in Rindfleisch's trial, but one source indicated that his attorney, Michael Steinle, had been planning to file a motion to quash the subpoena this week.My question, did Walker force Rindfleisch to make a plea to keep Walker off the stand? Or did she finally realize that the case against her was too strong for her to survive a jury trial.
Either way, this is big news in the ongoing John Doe trial in Milwaukee. What will her plea bargain expose?
Tick, tock, Scotty!
More from the article for those that want to avoid the Journal Sentinel pay wall:
She was accused of making calls and sending emails for Brett Davis' lieutenant governor campaign and contacting Walker campaign aides while being paid by county taxpayers.
The charges stemmed from a long-running secret John Doe investigation that has focused on aides and associates of Walker. Prosecutors filed the felony charges against Rindfleisch in January. She pleaded not guilty.
She would be the second former Walker staffer to plead guilty to criminal charges as a result of the John Doe probe. Darlene Wink, the onetime county constituent relations coordinator, pleaded guilty this year to intentionally doing work for Walker's gubernatorial campaign while on the county clock.
Other potential trial witnesses included Keith Gilkes, Walker's 2010 campaign manager who is now running ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson's U.S. Senate bid, and Mike Huebsch, state administration secretary.
Walker has said he does not believe he is a target.