We've already opened up some of our Tim Russell Day presents over the weekend, but there are more presents lying under the Walkergate tree for us to open.
As I had noted over the weekend, Scott Walker moved Tim Russell to the Division of Housing. But Walker screwed him over by keeping Russell's pay at the bottom of the barrel for that position.
In his sentencing memo, ADA Bruce Landgraf put in a footnote (#7, at the bottom of page 17) noting that Walker promised to talk about "improvements" after the election:
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What Marley missed in his report that this was also five months after Russell got control of the veterans/campaign fund and started stealing money from it. By the time of Walker's email, Russell had already stolen more than $10,000 from the fund.
If you think Walker didn't know that Russell was dipping into Walker's veterans/campaign fund, you must be new to Fitzwalkerstan. Walker shortchanged Russell in pay because he already knew that Russell was stealing from him and was only to keep using him until he wasn't useful anymore.
Why else would Walker fund the legal defense for Kelly Rindfleisch but leave his long time and very close friend high and dry?
It also kind of puts a whole new light on Walker's claim of starting the investigation, doesn't it? Maybe Walker did start the investigation to get back at Russell, but didn't expect it to backfire on him the way it had. Talk about poetic justice.
Marley did open another present for us though. This present comes in the form of Nicole Tieman, Walker's third campaign spokeswoman in as many years:
Walker campaign spokeswoman Nicole Tieman noted in a statement that Russell did not get a raise after the election.In fact, off the top of my head, the only person that I can think of that was in Walker's original administration but did not have a role in his campaign is the adulterous Dennis Smith.
“All hiring recommendations for state positions were handled by the leaders of Governor Walker’s transition team, not by the Friends of Scott Walker campaign,” she said in her statement.
The transition team was headed by two veterans of Walker’s campaign – Michael Grebe, his campaign chairman, and John Hiller, his campaign treasurer.
Ms. Tieman doesn't appear any less inept that her two predecessors; Jill Bader, who is known for her racist tweets and setting up illegal meetings at county events and Ciara "Hooters girl" Matthews.
At least the next couple of years should be interesting.
And almost as an afterthought, I would be remiss if I did not point out the rather anti-climatic point that Russell is trying to play the sympathy card to get a lighter sentence.
In Russell's letter to the court, he tried to claim that he only took the money as a salary, which is unsupported anywhere. Russell also claims to be the sole caretaker for his elderly grandmother, something he never brought up before.
The only reason I really bring this up is that it triggered my memory about an incident in Russell's case that happened back in April of last year when Russell put a $2000 retainer for the services of Attorney Andrew Franklin. This retainer caused some strife between Franklin and Attorney Mike Maistelman, who was already representing Russell.
I later learned that this money came from "a relative." I wonder if Russell's grandmother was the unnamed benefactor. I also wonder that if she indeed was, if she was knowingly and willingly, or was she a benefactor due to Russell's sticky fingers.
But that is just idle meanderings of the mind.
What I wonder is what we will find after Old Saint John Doe comes to place his presents under the Walkergate tree...