Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Walkergate: Watch Out For Runaround Rindfleisch

During the course of the criminal case against Kelly Rindfleisch, her attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, has tried everything and anything to get her off the hook. The only thing he hasn't tried yet is argue her innocence.

When his legal maneuverings in circuit court didn't work, he started filing appeals.

The first appeal was that the case should be heard in Columbia County, even though the alleged crimes happened in Milwaukee County and Rindfleisch signed employment papers stating that she was a Milwaukee County citizen.

This appeal was summarily denied.

Undaunted, Rindfleisch then filed a second appeal, trying to claim universal immunity, arguing that the immunity she received a decade ago on the first caucus scandals applied across space and time and covered all past and future crimes she might have committed.

Guess what?

There are apparently limitations to immunity after all and the court also denied this one immediately.

But it's not time to dig into the popcorn just yet.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Gimbel is gearing up for a third crack at the appellate court:
Gimbel said he plans to appeal another ruling by Hansher denying an attempt to suppress evidence collected under a search warrant from Rindfleisch's home last year. Gimbel said prosecutors' collection of emails from two of Rindfleisch's personal accounts for a two-year period amounted to a fishing expedition.
Yeah, never mind that the prosecutors already had a ton of evidence from her county office in then County Executive Scott Walker's suite, including the secret router, to take her to trial. If they were fishing, it was in a barrel stocked with them.

Obviously, this is nothing more than a stalling technique by Gimbel.

A faithful reader had opined that Gimbel is simply acting like any good lawyer and doing whatever he can to keep his client out of prison for as long as he possibly can. And I'm sure there is a certain amount of merit to this train of thought.

But I think of this and wonder if Gimbel might not be thinking of other considerations as he tries to stall the case:
I've questioned before just how Rindfleisch is able to afford a high caliber, high cost attorney like Franklyn Gimbel. I've heard Walker has his people, including campaign manager Keith Gilke doing some fundraising on the side for Kelly.

But could there be other things at play?

Gimbel is the chairman of the Wisconsin Center District board. His appointment expired three months ago. One would think that Scott Walker would want to put his own people in there immediately, as he is wont to do everywhere else. Or are there other considerations at play here?

One thing we know is that Rindfleisch probably isn't paying for Gimbel's legal services on her own. She's not very good at doing an honest day's work.
For those not aware, the Wisconsin Center District includes some of the top venues in downtown Milwaukee, including the ailing BMO Bradley Center, home of the Milwaukee Bucks. The district board has been hinting at seeking a sales tax to pay for building a new arena for the Bucks to play in. Wouldn't a nice way to get the anti-tax Scott Walker to have a change of heart be to delay any legal proceedings that he might not want to go forward?

And then there is also the nagging question of who the hell is paying for Gimbel's services?


  1. Interesting that the BMO Harris Bradley Center just got $5 million in state aid from Walker. Tis after he said that the Bradley Center would have to get the $$$ on their own. Hmmmm.

  2. Perhaps there is something more to this particular appeal than mere stalling? Maybe their is something in those particular email that, while not being particularly harmful to Rindfleisch, may cast her former boss and present patron.

  3. bradley center is not operated by wisconsin center district, tho a merger has been proposed.

  4. I'm sure the DA has had enough of Gimbel's antics by now and I can see Chisholm dropping more charges on KR if her attorney continues these desperate attempts to get her off the hook. As Capper points out they have never argued her innocence, they would just like to make all of this bad stuff go way for poor Kelly.

  5. Tim Russell
    10-22-2012: Final pre-trial
    11-02-2012: Motion hearing
    12-03-2012: Jury trial
    *3 counts, 1 G, 1 I, 1 Misd. A

    Kevin Kavanaugh
    10-08-2012: Jury trial
    *5 counts, 1 G, 4H

    Kelly Rindfleisch
    09-24-2012: Final pre-trial
    10-11-2012: Hearing
    10-15-2012: Jury trial

    Darlene Wink
    11-21-2012: Sentencing hearing

    Brian Pierick
    09-27-2012: Motion hearing
    12-03-2012: Jury status hearing
    12-11-2012: Jury trial

    So, I added in the count information for Kavanaugh and Russell. It's worth pointing out that Kavanaugh is charged with MUCH more than Russell (5 felonies v. 2). Yet, it is Russell who has had more problems with lawyers, more delays, more motions, and has found himself with two more months before trial (even though they were both charged on the same day). Both men are dirt poor, both men are being charged for more/less the same thing, yet such deviations in their cases.

    Now, we all think we know why this is, but I believe it is worth pointing out that the cases are playing out in a manner consistent with Russell having far more to be worried about than Kavanaugh, even though Kavanaugh, at first, appears to be in much more trouble. I think it really speaks to what we are yet to here and what the folks on the inside have already heard.


  6. The delay in Russell's case is simply due to his problems retaining lawyers. And he does have more to worry about because Kavanaugh has only embezzlement on his plate.

    If the prosecutors want to, they could easily make sure Russell never walks free again.

  7. That's what someone who's watching this would say. I think the important thing is that the progression of this CF reflects the assessment of those who do believe that this reaches all the way up the chain. If Russell wasn't the lynchpin in a bigger ordeal, as many would claim, then his case would be going faster or at the same rate as Kavanaugh's - but it's not. It is hard to believe that the media could deny this major deviation in the two cases. Heck, you'd think Bice would just do an article saying, "Kavanaugh and Russell both charged with embezzling from the same account. Oddly enough, Russell, Walker's former CoS, has had much more trouble getting his case together due to XYZ......". Or not. Maybe I'm just grasping at straws while we wait...