Former Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch was sentenced to six months in prison and three years of probation Monday afternoon after being convicted of campaign fundraising while employed by Milwaukee County.
Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, said Rindfleisch was found guilty of using company equipment and working on campaign-related issues while being paid by Milwaukee County taxpayers.
“Anytime an individual is sentenced to jail time, it is a very serious offense,” Heck said.
Rindfleisch served as the Deputy Chief of Staff while Walker was the Milwaukee County Executive. She had pleaded not guilty to four charges of misconduct in office, a felony in Wisconsin.
Heck said in an earlier interview with The Badger Herald that Walker was one of 36 witnesses who were called to testify, and Rindfleisch had denied Walker knew anything about her activities.
According to Heck, the question now is whether the Milwaukee County district attorney will continue to investigate if Walker was involved.
He added Rindfleisch had been involved in a Legislative caucus scandal about 10 years ago, when she was convicted of illegal campaign fundraising inside the Capitol.
Heck said Rindfleisch is the second one of Walker’s aids to be convicted of illegal activity. Tim Russell was convicted earlier of embezzling money from various campaign and charity funds.
Heck said he believes the investigation into Walker’s alleged involvement will continue.
“This begs the question of, ‘What did Walker know?’,” Ross said. “Was he involved [in the scandal] or is he an incompetent manager by not knowing what is going on in his own office? Neither scenario is acceptable.”
Ross added Brett Davis, who ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2010 and now works as the Medicaid director under Walker, is still in Walker’s “inner circle.”
Rindfleisch was working for Davis’ campaign during her illicit activity, and Ross said he cannot understand why Davis has not had to “answer for that.”
Mike McCabe, the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, said this trial may affect public opinion of Walker in the long run and may diminish Wisconsinite’s support for him.
Mike Mikalsen, spokesperson for Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, could not be reached for comment.