Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Questions Arise About Walker Crony

Tim Russell is the source for more headaches for Scott Walker.

Russell is the Walker crony that worked for all of Walker's campaigns. In between campaigns and despite a campaign promise by Walker to eliminate cronyism, Walker would plug his good pal into whatever high-paying job that was laying around, including stints as Economic Development Director, Assistant Chief of Staff and currently as Housing Division Administer.

During his stint in the Economic Development Division, Russell regularly failed to meet expectations, creating a budget crisis on an annual basis.

Russell is also currently under investigation by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office for allegedly campaigning for Walker using county time and equipment. Russell's computer has been seized and a search was conducted of his office.

Today, in a press release from Supervisor John Weishan, it was learned that there is yet another question regarding Russell's character:
Milwaukee County Supervisor John F. Weishan, Jr., is calling on County Executive Scott Walker to disclose the full work history of the Housing Division administrator, Mr. Timothy Russell. It has been brought to Supervisor Weishan’s attention that Mr. Russell was terminated from a previous position at the Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) for illegal use of a department credit card for his personal use.

“After reviewing the past resumes of Mr. Russell, submitted to the County Board when he was considered for the position of Economic Development Director, I could not find any mention of this infraction,” Supervisor Weishan said. “It’s time for the County Executive and Mr. Russell to come clean about the Housing Division administrator’s work history.”

To clear up any misunderstanding related to Mr. Russell’s background, Supervisor Weishan sent a letter to the County Executive asking that he or Mr. Russell provide documentation from WHEDA that contradicts the accusation. Supervisor Weishan is also asking the County Executive if he had any knowledge of Mr. Russell’s reasons for leaving WHEDA and the accusation being made before hiring him for various high level positions in the administration.

“A good working relationship between the County Board and department/division heads representing the County Executive is critical to the effective operation of County government,” Supervisor Weishan added. “Any act that erodes the level of trust between the branches of government only diminishes the ability to provide services to constituents.”
Walker needs to explain more than just if and when he knew about Russell's past. We also need to know what safeguards were taken to monitor Russell's access to county funds and other resources.

Another question would be regarding what kind of consequences does the County have towards people that misrepresent themselves and their history during what is basically a job interview. In most jobs, if they find out that you lied on your resume or during the interview, that is cause for immediate termination.

Cross posted at Milwaukee County First.

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