Thu October 11, 2012
Judge Accepts Rindfleisch Plea
A Milwaukee judge has accepted a plea agreement in a case that could send one of Governor Walker's former Milwaukee County aides to jail.
Circuit judge David Hansher has okayed a deal under which former Walker deputy chief-of-staff in Milwaukee County, Kelly Rindfleisch has pleaded guilty to one count of felony misconduct while in public office. In 2010, Rindfleisch did campaign work for a Republican candidate while on county time. At a hearing this afternoon, Rindfleisch briefly tried to plead no contest to the charge but Hansher rejected that attempt. A few minutes later, Hansher said no to Rindfleisch's request to delay entering the felony conviction until November 7, so she could vote in the upcoming election.
"If I do it for you, I'd have to do it for other people who come before be in the next month. I'm not going to do that," he said.
After the hearing, Rindfleisch and her attorney repeatedly declined to comment. But Milwaukee County prosecutor Bruce Landgraf says the agreement sends a message to public employees not to do campaign work on taxpayer time, and is consistent with other settlements involving public officials over the last decade.
"Whether they're Republicans or Democrats, if you examine any case, you will see there is consistency and harmony between this case and others that have gone down in the past."
Rindflesich is due to be sentenced November 19th. Prosecutors have promised not to seek a prison sentence, but Rindfleisch could be fined and wind up with some time in a jail and on probation, unless Judge Hansher imposes a different sentence.