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Walker’s former aide sentenced to 6 months in jail (UPDATE)

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A Milwaukee judge sentenced one of Gov. Scott Walker’s former top aides to six months in jail and three years of probation Monday for doing campaign work on the taxpayers’ time.

Prosecutors accused 44-year-old Kelly Rindfleisch of working on Republican Brett Davis’ campaign for lieutenant governor in 2010 on county time while she served as Walker’s deputy chief of staff during his tenure as Milwaukee County executive.

She pleaded guilty last month to one felony count of misconduct in office in a deal with prosecutors. She faced up to three-and-a-half years in prison and $10,000 in fines, but prosecutors recommended probation with jail time and promised to not seek restitution in exchange for her plea.

Rindfleisch asked the judge for probation and community service, saying that taxpayers were her first priority.

But Judge David Hansher refused, saying her offense was serious and “she clearly knew what she was doing was illegal and wrong.”

Hansher stayed the sentence pending appeal.

Rindfleisch is one of six people charged in a secret investigation Milwaukee prosecutors launched into Walker’s office. Walker himself hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing.

Railroad executive William Gardner was sentenced to two years’ probation in July after he was found guilty of exceeding state campaign donation limits and laundering contributions to Walker and other state politicians. Another Walker aide, Darlene Wink, pleaded guilty this summer to two misdemeanor charges of working on Walker’s gubernatorial bid on county time.

Tim Russell, another of Walker’s deputy chiefs of staff, has been charged with stealing more than $21,000 from a nonprofit organization Walker asked him to lead. He’s set to stand trial beginning Dec. 3.

Russell’s domestic partner, Brian Pierick, has been charged with child enticement after investigators looking into Walker’s associates seized phones and computers that allegedly showed he was trying to lure a 17-year-old into his van.

Kevin Kavanaugh, whom Walker named to the county Veterans Service Commission, was found guilty last month of stealing more than $51,000 in donations meant for veterans and their families.

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