The biggest shout out humanly possible goes to Jud Lounsbury at Uppity Wisconsin who had gotten a copy of a work release form for Tim Russell that raises some serious questions.
As the gentle reader knows, Russell was arrested, charged and convicted of stealing money from a veterans' fund and two political campaigns, although it could be said that the veterans fund, named Operation Freedom, was nothing more than a political operation for Scott Walker.
In Lounsbury's article, he provides us with a copy of a Inmate Offsite Review, a form used for inmates on work release:
In the part of the form highlighted by Lounsbury, we see that Russell admitted that he took the money. But then Russell states that he felt "he thought that he did have authorization to do the things he did."
He repeats this thought in the next sentence saying that he thought he had the authority to do the things he did.
Lounsbury accurately points out that Scott Walker was the one ultimately in charge of the veterans fund. He is the one that ignored advice from the Ethics Board to have the money removed from county control and instead gave it directly to Russell to be put in the front group he created just for this fund.
The question is: Did Walker give Russell the authority to take the money from the fund for personal use?
Some things to consider when contemplating this question is that, as I had just mentioned, Walker was the one in control of the money. Russell was just the handler, doing what he was told to do. And we already know that Russell used some of that money to build and administer Walker's campaign website as well as the ScottforGov.com blogsite, which Walker was not only aware of, but to which he gave his approval.
It should also be noted that in the inmate statement, Russell said that he thought he deserved the money because he was doing extra work (like setting up and running websites?) and that he felt the money was a consulting fee. Could it be that Russell was just trying to rationalize his crimes by saying he was owed the money? Given the fact that Russell is a pompous ass and pretty darn arrogant, that is a distinct possibility.
The third option, and probably the closest one to the truth, lies between the above two possibilities.
It could likely be that Russell went to Walker saying he needed money to help cover the cost of the websites and "administrative expenses." Walker, more worried about covering his political butt on issues like the mental health complex and the tragedy at O'Donnell Park, said he could access this fund for those costs. But when Russell saw all that money and how easy it was to take it, he took more than he had told Walker he was going to, telling himself he earned it.
Then when Walker realized that his long-time, bestest friend had ripped him off, he went to the DA's office, never imagining that selling Russell out would have the potential to torpedo his entire political career.
As they say, there is no honor among thieves...