Kevin Kavanaugh, an associate and Walker appointee to the Veterans Service Commission has been found guilty on embezzlement of $51,000 from Operation Freedom, a veterans organization serving the families of soldiers killed or injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. His trial began on Monday and the jury just delivered the verdict.
He didn't testify at the trial and said nothing following the verdict. Sentencing on the felony conviction was sent for Dec. 7. Kavanaugh, who had no prior criminal record, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
The biggest source of money Kavanaugh was accused of tapping were donations made for Operation Freedom, an annual picnic and veterans event at the zoo that Gov. Scott Walker hosted while he was Milwaukee County executive.
Prosecutors said Kavanaugh went to elaborate lengths to conceal his transactions and had witnesses testify they never received money purportedly donated to them, as listed in his Purple Heart records.Yeah, this is the guy that Scott Walker palled around with. Someone who steals from war widows and orphans. Nice going, asshole.
"Why did he falsify the check stubs" to say money was going to children of veterans killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, asked Assistant District Attorney Hanna Kolberg in her closing statement to jurors. "Why did he refuse to open his books when asked" by a Purple Heart auditor, Walker's chief of staff at the county and others, she said. "Why did he purposely commingle" the Purple Heart money with his money?
"Because the defendant is a thief," Kolberg said.
He is the second Walker associate guilty this week.
As I diaried yesterday, former Scott Walker Deputy Chief of Staff Kelly Reindfleisch was indicted on 4 felony counts of misconduct in office, specifically doing extensive campaign and campaign fundraising work in County facilities and during official office hours, and was scheduled to stand trial on Monday. This week, however, her lawyer successfully plea bargained for her to plead guilty to 1 felony as well as the ability to receive work release rather than prison time and even appeal her plea bargained guilty plea.
Darlene Wink, accused of the same campaign work in a taxpayer funded facility and on duty time, successfully plea bargained to misdemeanors and avoided jail time by cooperating with the John Doe Probe. There was no similar cooperation required in the deal made with Reindfleisch.
Here are the trial dates as of now:
Started October 8: Start of the trial for Kevin Kavanaugh (charged with embezzling funds from a veterans group that were deposited with Milwaukee County. CONVICTED!!
November 19, 2012: Sentencing for Kelly Reindfleisch (todays plea deal - no cooperation required).
November 21, 2012: Sentencing for Darlene Wink (plea bargain/cooperating). This date was delayed at the request of prosecutors to ensure continuing cooperation.
December 3, 2012: Start of the trial for Tim Russell