On the Timothy Russell plea deal and sentence. Judge Hansher: “I have some questions here”

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A brief dispatch I’m filing from a bench outside the Milwaukee County courthouse which will be fleshed out in a few hours
with a description of the courtroom scene and more:

Today prosecutor Bruce Landgraf recommended a sentence for former Scott Walker aide Timothy Russell and also offered up a plea deal. Landgraf recommended a sentence of 30 months of initial confinement and 30 months of supervision following that for 1 felony count of embezzlement of over $10,000 (Russell was initially charged with three counts of theft in January of 2012). Landgraf said the sentence is intended to be the “full settlement” of all charges in Russell’s criminal complaint.  Prosecution also requested that he pay restitution of $28,000.

Judge David A. Hansher recited a litany of clarifying questions to Russell to make sure he realized he will lose the right to vote while carrying out his punishment and he waives rights to a jury trial and similar.

The only thing the judge offered outside of the boilerplate questions he was required to ask: he requires a pre-sentencing investigation.
“I have some questions here.  There are some things I’m not sure about.”

Remember that the Kelly Rindfleisch pre-sentencing hearing is what divulged numerous details that implicated Scott Walker directly in the illegal comingling of county employee and campaign worker time and activity — or certainly that’s what it looked like given that Scott Walker himself was included on the damning emails revealed by Landgraf. Thus the judge’s questions and interest in further investigation assure us that there will be more revelations and implications to come.

Russell’s bail remains the same.

Grab bag On Wisconsin: The border war, Scooter’s expensive bluster, Not the white man’s, A tall glass of chromium

On that border war… Huffington Post cuts through the escape rhetoric and does the tax numbers. And also tosses in a choice quote:”Wisconsin is not the mecca where everybody is going to be running off to. The last time I looked, their climate is a lot s**ttier than ours.” – Chicago Huffington Post

Bluster Blunders I fear that Governor Walker will be repeating mistakes that will be magnified at the state level. Such as missteps in Milwaukee County that stemmed from making bloated political pronouncements that he claims will save money, but which ultimately wind up costing a lot. In the case of his illegal Continue reading