New judge assigned to case against Timothy Russell

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A new judge has been assigned to the case of Timothy D. Russell, a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker when Walker was the Milwaukee County executive who was charged after a John Doe investigation.

The 48-year-old Russell is accused of stealing more than $21,000 from a nonprofit organization that Walker asked him to lead.

Russell was scheduled to enter his plea in court Thursday morning, but Russell's defense attorney requested a new judge in Milwaukee County court. That request was granted Thursday, and the case was initially reassigned to Judge J.D. Watt. Watt reviewed the case for an hour and announced he was recusing himself.

So the case will now be heard by Judge David Hansher. An arraignment has been set for Feb. 24 at 1:30 p.m.

Russell's defense attorney, Mike Maistelman, declined to say why he requested a new judge, saying he doesn't want to reveal his defense strategy.