Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Walkergate: What Wonders Will Russell Reveal Wednesday?

At the end of May, Tim Russell's most recent attorney, Dennis Krueger, filed two motions for Russell's defense.  One was to dismiss the charges outright and the other was to suppress the overwhelming amount of evidence against Russell.  At the time, I thought the motions to be laughable.

Then at the end of June, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf filed his responses to rebut the defense's motions.  The revelations which came out of those responses were a treasure trove of information that gave us a better insight to how deep the corruption ran in Walker's administration.  The revelations included things like: Russell was looking for a plea deal, but might have blown his chance with his filings; Charlie Sykes, who has been constantly haranguing about supposed leaks in the investigation, knew all along that the leaks were coming from the defense attorneys; and despite Walker's claims of ignorance (talk about plausible denials!), he knew all along that the Walkergate investigations were so much more.

These motions are going to be heard on Wednesday afternoon.  While I still expect that the Honorable David Hansher will dismiss the defense's motions, I also expect that there just might be some more interesting things to come out.

There were two more filings made Tuesday, according to court records.

One was a petition for Subpoena Duces Tecum and a supporting affidavit.  A Subpoena Duces Tecum is defined thus:

[Latin, Under penalty to bring with you.] The judicial process used to command the production before a court of papers, documents, or other tangible items of evidence.

A subpoena duces tecum is used to compel the production of documents that might be admissible before the court. It cannot be used to require oral testimony and ordinarily cannot be used to compel a witness to reiterate, paraphrase, or affirm the truth of the documents produced.

Although frequently employed to obtain discovery during litigation, a subpoena duces tecum may not be used for a "fishing expedition" to enable a party to gain access to massive amounts of documents as a means of gathering evidence. The subpoena should be sufficiently definite so that a respondent can identify the documents sought without a protracted or extensive search. Moreover, a person ordinarily is required to produce only documents in her possession or under her control and supervision. A subpoena duces tecum may be used to compel the production of the papers and books of a business, however.

A subpoena duces tecum is not limited to parties to a lawsuit but may also be used for others who have relevant documents. In the absence of a valid excuse, an individual served with a subpoena duces tecum must produce the items sought, although a subordinate may comply instead. A subpoena duces tecum may be challenged by a motion to quash, modify, or vacate the subpoena or by a motion for a protective order. The subpoena might not be permitted if alternative methods for obtaining the information sought are available. Determining whether a subpoena duces tecum should be enforced is a discretionary matter within the judgment of the court.
The problem is that the court clerk didn't write down who filed that petition and supporting document.  This opens the door to a wide spectrum of speculation.

Did the DA's Office file the petition?  If they did, who did they file it against and what are they looking for?   Is Russell withholding evidence? Or does someone else have some incriminating evidence?

And if Russell's attorney filed the petition, who was it against? Do they believe the DA is withholding evidence that might clear Russell?  Or do they think that there might be documentation in someone else's position that will mitigate the embezzlement charges - say, a letter or email giving tacit consent for Russell to raid the veterans fund he is accused of stealing from?

Oh, the possibilities abound!

But there is a catch.  We might not find out anything, at least not right away.

Another motion was filed on Tuesday.  This was a motion to seal.  So they might not release that information until the trial in September.

We will just have to wait and see what happens on Wednesday.  But if there is anything, you know where to tune in to find out, same Cog Dis time, same Cog Dis channel.


  1. The subpoena was requested under the WI Statute regarding release of income tax returns. Since this information is already available to the prosecutors (with good cause), I'm assuming that this is a request from Russell's camp. Where it leads, who knows? But I think that things are starting to heat up.

  2. Perhaps the Duces Tecum deposition has to do with Mr Russell and the unnamed co-conspirator from his partner Brian Pierick's charge of minor exploitation?
    or could the documents be intended for prosecution of future charges against another party to the John Doe indictments against Kelly Rindfleisch or else a different co-conspirator, whether named or otherwise?

    1. No, it would strictly be about Russell's embezzlement charges.

  3. Anonymous 10:57.

    It was filed pursuant to 71.78 (4)(f)..., not (e)

    (e) The person who filed or submitted the return or claim, or to whom the return or claim relates or by the person's authorized agent or attorney.

    (f) Any person examining a return or claim pursuant to a court order duly obtained upon a showing to the court that the information contained in the return or claim is relevant to a pending court action or pursuant to a subpoena signed by a judge of a court of record ordering the department's custodian of returns or claims to produce a return or claim in open court in a court action pending before the judge.

    However, they could be looking for the tax returns of the Heritage Guard before Russell took it over. Remember in the complaint it wasn't determined if Russell had filed 501(3)(c) paperwork. The IRS had no record.

    It could also be for Operation Freedom itself.

    Oh, the what ifs...

  4. Is there another possiblity that the Duces Tecum for tax records could delay the hearing next week, resulting in a continuance?

  5. What if the filing was necessary for the prosecution to obtain the records from the state? I.E. Walker "cooperating" again.