Saturday, July 14, 2012

Walkergate: Is There A Lawyer In The House?

On Thursday, I pointed out that Tim Russell goes through lawyers like Scott Walker goes through campaign promises - neither one can keep one to save their soul (if they had one, that is).

Russell's first, and longest lasting, attorney, Michael Maistelman got pulled when it came out that he was going to be a possible witness for the prosecution, presumably for the bid-rigging that was going on in Walker's administration as county executive.

Russell's first criminal defense attorney, Andrew Franklin, quit when he wasn't getting paid.

His second criminal defense attorney quit after Russell refused to cooperate with him.

On Thursday, we learned that Russell's most recent attorney, Dennis Krueger, might not be representing Russell for long.

And boy, oh boy, is he so not going to be on the case. It turns out that Krueger took a job as a state prosecutor in Fond du Lac County sometime in June, although I've heard it might have been as early as April. This would obviously become a conflict of interest.  Furthermore, he never notified his clients, including Russell.  In fact word is, Krueger never even notified Maistelman even though he was only days from leaving permanently.

Needless to say, Judge David Hansher was not at all pleased at this turn of events. From an article written by Steve Schultze of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Krueger said his new boss, Fond du Lac County District Attorney Dan Kaminsky, agreed to let him work part time while he continued to work on the Russell case. That might not happen now.

Hansher said Krueger had been "unprofessional and hypocritical" in failing to disclose his new job, and the judge said he may file a complaint against Krueger with the state Office of Lawyer Regulation accusing him of professional misconduct.

Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf said Krueger had a legal conflict of interest in acting as Russell's defense attorney while at the same time working as a state prosecutor. That might also be a violation of ethical rules, Landgraf said.

Krueger said keeping mum about his new prosecutor's job was in the best interests of his client.

Landgraf said he had no objection to giving Russell a week to figure out his options on who will represent him. But Landgraf said it appeared inevitable that Russell will have to get another lawyer, a development that could cause a significant delay in Russell's trial.
Now Russell, whose savings must be running on fumes by now, has to go out and find a fifth attorney to represent him and try to salvage the damage done by Krueger, including any possible plea deals.

And that's no small task either.  Russell will have to find a lawyer that is competent, willing to work for cheap or at the risk of not getting paid for a long time and isn't already involved in the Walkergate investigation in some fashion.*  Russell is probably sitting at home, already picturing himself in orange.

If the prosecutors are waiting to go after the other targets of the John Doe until they resolve the cases against Russell, Darlene Wink and Kelly Rindfleisch, that means this could go on well into next year, at the very least.  But that is what happens when prosecutors go after a mafia-like operations.

*Interestingly, these three requirements eliminate Attorney Paul Bucher, who fails on all three requirements.


  1. Sounds like they are playing a shell game

  2. Krueger's total incompetence and lack of ethics should come as no surprise given he's a protege of Paul Bucher. These are the two clowns who were totally embarrassed by Gerry Boyle in the Mark Chmura trial when the jury returned a not guilty verdict in under four hours. This effectively ended Bucher's aspirations to become Wisconsin's next Attorney General and eventually his career as Waukesha County DA .

  3. Bucher couldn't even defeat the half-wit Van Hollen in the Repulican primary for Attorney General, which implies that he is a quarter-wit.

    Actually I would like to see him defending Russel.

  4. Makes me feel oh so happy I live in FDL Co. with the legal competence that is Dan Kaminsky. Yes, that would be the same guy who pleaded with the CEO of Anthem Blue-Cross to have an OWI changed to "flying drunk"

  5. So many horrible lawyers in this state. Get a bar exam, clowns.

  6. And the prick was my Grandson's Attorney too!