Saturday, April 7, 2012

Walkergate: The Russell Gambit - Update

Two days ago, I reported that Tim Russell's second lead attorney, John A. Birdsall, was asking to be removed from the case.  Some speculated that it was an effort to stall the proceedings to prevent it from tainting Scott Walker's already tarnished reputation.  I, however, theorized that it had more to do with the fact that Russell was having financial difficulties and might be considering doing a plea deal.  I reckoned that if he was already having money troubles and had the potential to face a lot more charges than the ones he is already facing, it would make sense for him to cut his losses and try to make the best of a bad situation.

The hearing on Birdsall's motion was held Friday and was granted.  Marie Rohde, reporting for, was at the hearing.  She indicates that if this was a stalling tactic, it was utterly unsuccessful.  However, she does confirm that Russell is having money problems:

“Nothing seems to be moving on this case,” Milwaukee Co. Judge David Hansher said in court Friday morning. “We have a trial date set.”  
Hansher said the dates would remain the same even if yet another attorney is hired to take the lead. Earlier, he extended the time for filing motions after Russell’s first criminal defense lawyer, Andrew Franklin, withdrew from the case on March 12, following a closed door hearing in chambers.  
Hansher made reference from the bench regarding that hearing, saying that there were problems between the defense lawyers and payments for services.  
Hansher agreed to allow David Krueger to take over as lead lawyer in the case, the third person to hold that position since Russell was charged Jan 3. At the same hearing, Hansher agreed to allow John A. Birdsall to step aside as lead defense lawyer. 
Rohde accurately reports that the trial is slated for June 18.  What she did not mention is that the final pretrial hearing is set for June 4 (Entry #14), the day before the recall.

To recap, Russell's two attorneys, one a criminal lawyer and the other one of the leading attorneys in the state on election laws, are from the same firm, so there will be more effective representation for him.   And part of any good attorney's job is to help their client realize when they are up the proverbial creek without a paddle or even a canoe, as in Russell's case.  With at least one more hearing coming up before election day, which is still two long months away, there is a good chance that Russell might take heed of the advice provided by his attorneys and try to minimize his problems, just like Darlene Wink did.

I'm sure that Walker, the self-proclaimed Christian, is praying to St. John (Doe) to prevent that from happening.

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