Former Walker aide Timothy Russell reaches plea deal

MILWAUKEE -- One of Gov. Scott Walker's former aides pleaded guilty on Thursday, November 29th to stealing thousands of dollars from a nonprofit veterans organization in a deal with prosecutors.

49-year-old Timothy Russell worked for Walker between 2002 and 2010 during Walker's stint as Milwaukee County executive.

Prosecutors charged Russell in January with two felonies and a misdemeanor for stealing at least $21,000 from the nonprofit group Walker asked him to lead -- and stealing money from two county board candidates' campaigns. It's money Russell allegedly used for personal trips and more.

Russell pleaded guilty to stealing from the group on Thursday. Prosecutors in exchange dismissed the campaign theft charges. The state will recommend no more than five years of prison for Russell and another 30 months of extended supervision. The state is also asking that Russell repay the funds.

Russell left the courtroom on Thursday without comment. His lawyer read the following brief statement: "This agreement does not require Mr. Russell to testify in any other matters. It means a lot of good people are not going to have to testify for the defense and bring a close to this story," Parker Mathers said.

Others questioned whether the story is in fact closed.

Russell is one of five indicted after a secret John Doe probe that may or may not still be going on. Another former Walker aide, Kelly Rindfleisch, cut a plea deal in which she admitted to one count of misconduct in office. Another aide, Darlene Wink, still faces sentencing for campaigning on taxpayer time, and former Walker appointee Kevin Kavanaugh will be sentenced in January for his part in embezzling funds from a veterans group.

Gov. Walker himself hasn't been charged with any wrongdoing.

Russell will be sentenced in January.