Thursday, October 11, 2012

Walkergate: Did Rindfleisch Break Her Plea Deal Already?

As promised, Kelly Rindfleisch appeared in court today to enter into her plea deal.

But she couldn't even do that without trying to be a weasel:
Kelly M. Rindfleisch pleaded guilty Thursday to felony misconduct in office for doing campaign work at her government job as an aide to Gov. Scott Walker while he was Milwaukee County executive.

She first tried to plead no contest to the charge, but Circuit Judge David Hansher rejected that.

"It's either guilty or not guilty," Hansher said. Rindfleisch quickly retreated and pleaded guilty.


Hansher also denied a request by Franklyn Gimbel, Rindfleisch's lawyer, to delay formally entering her guilty plea until after the Nov. 6 elections, so she could vote. Convicted felons lose their voting rights until completing their sentences.

Hansher said if he made an exception for Rindfleisch, he'd have to make an exception for every defendant he sees between now and election day.
Heh. I said she should have voted early. Now if Romney/Ryan lose by one vote, they can blame Scott Walker for their loss.

The plea deal is pretty much like the one outlined in the letter from Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf, with the exception that the Honorable David Hansher would not include her right to appeal the case based on her universal immunity defense.

But as Rindfleisch and her attorney were so focused on their last minute attempts to find a way to weasel out of the plea deal, they missed something that just might put Rindfleisch in a world of hurt.

As the gentle reader closely reads the stipulations that Landgraf included in the plea deal, pay close attention to the third item:
Ms. Rindfleisch agrees that she has not been, and will not become, involved in any further criminal conduct. For purposes of this paragraph, "criminal conduct" is defined as any activity in contravention of a criminal statute that rises to the level of probable cause supporting the issuance of a criminal complaint. It is immaterial whether or not criminal charges are actually filed.
Now, I am presuming that by the wording of this section, this would preclude any of the illegal politicking she did while working for Scott Walker while he was Milwaukee County Executive.

But there is no telling at this point if she did other illegal activities, such as was involved with the bid rigging and the pay for play activities Walker and company are being investigated for.

But we do know that she was involved with other sordid activity, thanks to the astute Jeff Simpson. It appears that Rindfleisch was involved with a business with ties to the state's largest no-call violator:
A former aide and campaign worker for Governor Scott Walker who faces misconduct charges was affiliated with a business with ties to the largest alleged violator of the state's No-Call List.

Nevada state records show Kelly Rindfleisch as affiliated with National Lending Solutions, a business with a Columbus address, between December 2011 and March 2012.

Milwaukee County's district attorney has charged Rindfleisch with misconduct in public office for allegedly doing campaign work while on-the-job as deputy chief of staff for then-Milwaukee County executive Scott Walker. Rindfleisch was criminally charged at the same time she was listed as the business reservation holder in Nevada.

The business address for National Lending Solutions is identical to the address of American Lending Solutions, formerly First American Funding Company, owned by Michael Eisenga of Columbus.

In a settlement of a state complaint against First American Funding for allegedly contacting more than one million consumers on the state's No-Call List with mortgage solicitations, First American was required to pay $144,000, and provide quarterly summaries of all its calls to ensure no additional pattern of No-Call violations.

Eisenga declined an on-camera interview with 27 News on National Lending Solutions, its connection to his telemarketing operations, and Rindfleisch's former role.

But in later e-mails, Eisenga said the Nevada business filing involving Rindfleisch was part of a planned, but abandoned name change of his company to National Lending.

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection administrator Sandy Chalmers said at least one, previous violator of Wisconsin's No-Call list attempted to escape the terms of a negotiated court settlement by changing a company name.


Eisenga said Rindfleisch was an administrative assistant who worked for his telemarketing firm from October 2011 to January 2012, when she resigned days before being criminally charged.
I'm sure that this is something that could be argued out in court, but it could also be a leverage tool on Rindfleisch if she suddenly decides not to be cooperative when called on the stand regarding other cases, such as Russell's or other cases in the future.

Walker, as well as other higher ups in the Republican food chain, might want to invest in some extra-strength deodorant about now. The have a lot to be sweating about now.


  1. Why would she be so brazen? Does Walker have pardon authority as governor?

  2. So, Kevin Kavanaugh was just found guilty of stealing money for the veteran's fund....the same fund that Russell is charged with stealing from. Now, granted I've been wrong numerous times on this whole Jon Doe thing, but between Kavanaugh being found guilty and Rindfleisch pleading guilty, I can only imagine that Russell and his fourth lawyer are really rethinking going to trial. Actually, if I was a betting man, I'd say Russell pleads it out.

  3. I hate to ask this but is it just me that feels the investigations are over?