Yesterday, I noted that Darlene Wink's sentencing hearing was adjourned for four months in order to guarantee her continued cooperation against Tim Russell and a mystery case in Waukesha. I speculated that it might have something to do with Walker's campaign.
Since then, Marie Rohde, writing for WisPolitics.com, reported that Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel wasn't going to prosecute the suspect because he couldn't "demonstrate that he knew what he was doing was wrong." Schimel described it as a "side issue" not involving campaigning from work. What he didn't say is whether it had something to do with illegally coordination between Walker's campaign and Walker's county executive office.
On Thursday morning, Kelly Rindfleisch will be back in court regarding her defense's Kastiger Motion (that's the fancy legal term for Universal Immunity, the kind that spans all time and cases, apparently) and motions to suppress evidence. Landgraf has already loaded up with a lot more evidence - which should be a lot of fun to go through - and some have speculated that they will be piling up the charges, even tripling the current four to make it twelve felony charges, against her. I'm sure that they have more than enough evidence to do so.
It's good to see that the DA's office is tired of all the crap that has been dished their way and are willing to up the ante to put more pressure on these politi-thugs.
I expect that Rindfleisch's frivolous motions will go as far as Tim Russell's did.
And speaking of Russell, he is probably going to be the most interesting part of this phase of Walkergate.
an alarming rate. It is problem with retaining legal representation which is bringing him back to court on Friday, so that he can inform the court, or more likely the court will inform him, whether he will continue with
I would not be surprised if he walked into court on Friday with a new attorney in tow.
And if the gentle reader is up for a little conspiratorial speculation, we could even lay bets on who the new attorney might be.
A friend and faithful reader of Cog Dis alerted me to this story pointing out that the infamous Eric McLeod, formerly of Michael Best & Friedrich, has struck out on his own:
The attorney who provided free legal representation to state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman as the justice faced allegations of ethics violations and who has been in the center of GOP redistricting efforts has left the Michael Best & Friedrich law firm.Besides the issue of Gableman's peppercorn, McLeod was also deeply entrenched in the gerrymandering, including having all the Republicans in the state sign off on a secrecy pact. In fact, McLeod's shenanigans in filing one frivolous appeal after another regarding the gerrymandering bought him a personal sanction by the court, not to mention one for his former law firm.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week reported that Eric McLeod, a former partner for the Milwaukee-based firm, has started his own law practice.
Michael Best managing partner David Krutz didn’t return a phone message asking if McLeod’s departure was related to his no-fee representation of Gableman. A message to McLeod’s Maple Bluff home was not immediately returned.
McLeod represented Gableman for two years after the newly elected justice was accused of judicial ethics code violations for a 2008 campaign ad against incumbent Louis Butler, whom Gableman defeated for a seat on the high court.
McLeod reportedly provided about $100,000 worth of free legal representation for Gableman, which critics said created a conflict of interest because the Supreme Court often presides over cases argued by Michael Best & Friedrich.
However, as I always tell you to remember, with all things Walker-related, there's more. There's always more.
Last night, when researching for the Wink article, I was reviewing the criminal charges which were filed against her. At the bottom of page 14, I noted this captured email from Wink:
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In case you have a hard time making it out, she sent this email to Reince Priebus, then head of WISGOP. But if you'll also notice, she sent the email to Priebus using his email address at Michael Best & Friedrich.
Yes, that's right, Priebus had worked for Scott Walker's favorite law firm. In fact, he's still an employee, who's only "on leave."
To further the possibility of McLeod becoming Russell's attorney is that there is a sort of precedent set for them to spin off a lawyer to his own law firm to aid and abet their skulduggery, as pointed out earlier this year by Emily Mills, then writing for the Isthmus, covering the reprehensible gerrymandering (emphasis mine):
The new Republican-controlled Legislature also gets to headline the state's 10-year redistricting, and already they're pulling some shady moves that raise serious suspicions of gerrymandering.And lest we forget, Walker retained the legal services of former US Attorney Steven Biskupic to
The GOP is hiring two outside law firms, Michael Best and Friedrich and Troupis Law Office, to help them draw the new legislative district boundaries -- but disallowing the Democrats to hire their own attorneys for the process.
And -- surprise surprise! -- there are direct ties between Republican officials and these firms:
Reince Priebus, chairman of the state's Republican Party and a candidate to lead the Republican National Committee, works for Michael Best. But campaign finance reports show attorneys from the firm have donated to both Republicans and Democrats. James Troupis, who has frequently contributed to Republican campaigns, worked at Michael Best for years before starting his own company last year.Is it wrong to hire people one knows and presumably trusts for this kind of work? Not inherently, I don't think, but it certainly warrants a raised eyebrow or two. Add on top of that the fact that the fees charged by these outside firms will likely be paid for with taxpayer money, and that Democrats aren't being allowed the same benefit, however, and this goes from suspect to dirty pretty fast.
It kind of wraps up everything nice and neatly for Walker doesn't it? He hires his favorite law firm to defend his campaign, and then when they've had an opportunity to review all of the evidence and devise defense strategies, a member of said law firm splits off and forms his own law firm.
|Priebus and Walker -|
But before the gentle reader gets too upset, remember that Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm is no slouch, and neither are any of his prosecutors, as evidenced by their painfully meticulous approach to all of this. And they have a mountain of evidence, of which we, the casual observers, have only glanced a wee fraction.
I would see such a maneuver, if it were to occur, as proof of just how nervous Walker and Priebus are for their own respective hides.
I think I'll make mine some cheesy popcorn. It seems rather appropriate in more ways than one.