Will Scott Walker Get a Pink Slip, Orange Jumpsuit or a Second Chance?
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Walker says he knows nothing about it, but an email included in the Kelly Rindfleisch charging documents suggests otherwise. When the MJS caught Darlene Wink Facebooking for Walker's campaign while working on the county payroll and printed a story on the morning of May 14, 2010, she was fired. Walker sent an email to Deputy Chief of Staff Tim Russell that same morning at 8:46 a.m. -- not demanding an investigation or a top to bottom review of staff procedures -- but telling him he felt bad about firing her and stating "we cannot afford another story like this one. No one can give them any reason to do another story. That means no laptops, no websites, no time away during the work day, etc." Many have described this as a "smoking gun" email.
As if the story were not complicated enough, the MJS has also reported that investigators are looking into bid-rigging charges related to the county's decision, when Walker was County Exec, to move the Wisconsin Department of Aging from a public facility to a private facility using a bidding process. That investigation has lead to raids on the home of Walker's former chief of staff, Jim Villa, and a focus on his long-time campaign treasurer, Joe Hiller, a realtor involved with the potential county real estate contract. The MJS has reported on a private email exchange between Walker and Hiller that has been described as a "bombshell" in the investigation, but has not yet been released.
5) How many people have had their homes and computers raided by the FBI?
This may not be knowable. About a dozen law enforcement officers, including FBI agents, raided the Madison home of Cynthia Archer, who worked for Walker as a top aide at both the state level and at the county level. The raid on Archer's home was watched with interest by friends and neighbors in her close knit community, but we are now finding out about more raids that went unnoticed at the time. Lawyers involved in the defense of Kelly Rindfleisch, are trying to suppress evidence gained by searches of the homes and offices of Walker's former chief of staff Jim Villa and former state Rep. Brett Davis, who ran for the Republican nomination as Lt. Governor at the time that Walker ran for governor. Darlene Wink and Tim Russell apparently also were visited by the FBI.
6) How many people have been granted immunity?
So far, 13 people have been granted immunity in the case, but not Walker according to court records. This means that 13 people surrounding Walker could have been charged with a crime, but avoided prosecution by agreeing to cooperate with investigators and waive their constitutional right against self-incrimination. The 13 include Governor Walker's Press Secretary, Cullen Werwie and Fran McLaughlin, Walker's spokeswoman while he was Milwaukee County executive; David Halbrooks, a Milwaukee attorney with Democratic ties who specializes in procurement; GOP official Rose Ann Dieck; and Suzanne Immel, a Walker donor, and others involved in the prosecution of the railroad magnate who sought to conceal his illegal donations to Walker's gubernatorial campaign.
7) Who are the lawyers?
Walker's campaign has attorneys, including former federal prosecutor Steven M. Biskupic of the Wisconsin firm Michael Best & Friedrich. Walker himself is represented by a pair of high-powered law firms. Michael J. Steinle is a criminal defense attorney at the law firm Terschan & Steinle, LTD. Steinle has been included in the Best Lawyers in America and has been selected as one of Wisconsin's Super Lawyers every year since 2005. Some of Steinle's cases include a former flag football coach accused of molesting several of his underage players. He also represented clients in several homicide cases including the high-profile case of Richard Berhens who killed his live-in girlfriend and buried her body. Walker's other attorney is John N. Gallo, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, a large law firm in Chicago. He is a 1986 graduate of Harvard Law and a former federal prosecutor in Chicago with a specialty in grand jury investigations. Walker has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers already, but many in the legal community think that the lawyers are holding back their bills until after the election.