Top Walker Aide, Two Others Charged With Felonies

I wonder if anyone's going to make a deal and spill the beans on Walker:

Three individuals - including a former top aide to Gov. Scott Walker - were charged Thursday with felonies as part of the ongoing John Doe investigation into Walker staffers.

Tim Russell, a longtime Walker campaign and county staffer, was charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor count of embezzlement. One source said the charges are tied to Operation Freedom, an annual military appreciation day held at the zoo.

In 2010, Walker's county administration had asked prosecutors to investigate what had happened to $11,000 raised in 2007 for the event.

Russell's attorney, Michael Maistelman, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Also charged Thursday was Brian Pierick, Russell's longtime partner and a staffer at the state Department of Public Instruction, and Kevin Kavanaugh, Walker's appointee to the Milwaukee County Veteran Service Commission.

Kavanaugh is charged with five felonies for theft and fraudulent writings by a corporate officer. He was the treasurer of the Milwaukee Purple Heart chapter at the time of the dispute over the $11,000 for Operation Freedom.

Pierick, 48, was charged with two felony counts for child enticement. He is an office operations assistant at DPI dealing with education for homeless children and youth, according to the agency's website.

Walker spokesman Chris Schrimpf had no immediate comment on the news but said the office would provide one later in the day.

"We're still looking at it," he said.

Russell, who was housing director for Walker at the county, is facing Class G and Class I felonies. A class G felony carries a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 10 years in prison or both. A class I felony carries a fine of up to $10,000 and up to three and a half years in prison or both.

In August 2010, authorities seized Russell's county computer just weeks before the gubernatorial primary.


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