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Ex-Walker aide negotiates plea deal, avoids trial

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A court gavel
A court gavel

MILWAUKEE (WSAU) A former top Walker aide in Milwaukee County has decided to make a plea deal, instead of going through a trial next week on felony misconduct charges. The Journal Sentinel says Kelly Rindfleisch will plead guilty to at least one felony count during a plea hearing that’s scheduled for Thursday.

But the pleas are not certain yet, because the two sides are expected to finalize the terms of the bargain today.

The 43-year-old Rindfleisch was the deputy chief-of-staff to now-Governor Scott Walker when he was the Milwaukee County executive. She’s accused of doing campaign work for Walker and lieutenant governor candidate Brett Davis in 2010, during the hours she was supposed to be working for the county. Walker was subpoenaed to testify, but media reports said his lawyer was going to try to get the subpoena quashed.

State Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch was also on the prosecution’s witness list, along with 2010 Walker campaign manager Keith Gilkes.

Rindfleisch will be the second person to be convicted in a more than two-year-old John Doe investigation into Walker’s former Milwaukee County aides. Darlene Wink pleaded guilty to illegal campaigning, but avoided jail time by helping prosecutors in the ongoing John Doe probe. Kevin Kavanaugh, who was appointed by Walker to a county panel, is currently on trial for allegedly embezzling $42,000 from a program to help veterans. That trial started Monday, and is expected to run through the end of the week.

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