Kelly Rindfleisch is accused of campaigning for Republican Brett Davis while her salary was being paid by the citizens of Milwaukee County, Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, previously said.
Rindfleisch was deputy chief of staff in 2010 while Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, and Davis was the GOP’s original choice for the lieutenant governor race in 2010, according to Heck.
Rindfleisch pleaded not guilty to four charges of misconduct in office, a felony in Wisconsin, and five other members of Walker’s staff besides Rindfleisch are now facing charges.
Heck said Walker is one of the 36 witnesses who will be called to testify, and Rindfleisch has denied Walker knew anything about her activities.
Tom Evenson, a spokesperson for Walker’s campaign, said Walker has been agreeable during the proceedings of the case.
“Governor Walker continues to cooperate with authorities as he has throughout this process,” Evenson said in an email to The Badger Herald.
As for whether or not Walker’s campaign will be impacted by his testimony, professor David Canon, a political science professor at University of Wisconsin said it will depend on what Walker has to testify about.
“Walker is being called to testify about illegal activities that were committed by someone he worked with. If he did not know about it, the damage to his political career would be limited. If he did have knowledge of illicit activity, that would greatly affect his campaign,” Canon said.
Professor Karl Shoemaker, and associate professor of law and history at UW, said there is no statute of immunity in Wisconsin that would prevent the governor from having to testify. He said since it is a criminal case, there are no exceptions.
Shoemaker added legislators are immune to being summoned when the legislature is in session, but even that is only during civil cases.
Shoemaker said he does not think people who support Walker now will be affected by him testifying.
“I don’t think this will change supporters’ opinions of him,” Shoemaker said. “They won’t care.”
Heck has said the timing of this trial is inconvenient for the GOP as it will occur less than a month before the national elections.””
Mike McCabe, the executive director for the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, has also said he doubts any part of the trial will have implications for the election in November.””
McCabe said he does think this trial could cause Walker to lose support in the long run. He also pointed out that Walker is not up for reelection until 2014, so this trial does not have any immediate effect.”
The hearing for Rindfleisch is scheduled for Oct. 15.
-The Associated Press contributed to this report.