Walker’s former aide pleads in theft case

Plea deal calls for Russell to spend 30 months in prison
Walker’s former aide pleads in theft case

One of Gov. Scott Walker’s former aides has pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from a nonprofit group in a deal with prosecutors.

Tim Russell worked for Walker between 2002 and 2010 during Walker’s stint as Milwaukee County executive. Prosecutors charged Russell in January with stealing at least $21,000 from a nonprofit group Walker asked him to lead and stealing money from two county board candidates’ campaigns.

Russell pleaded guilty to stealing from the group on Thursday. Prosecutors in exchange dismissed the campaign theft charges.

The plea deal with prosecutors calls for 30 months in prison with another 30 months on probation.

The plea deal also includes $28,000 in restitution for stealing from a fund that benefits veterans.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 22. The judge is not bound by the plea agreement.

The charges were part of a secret probe prosecutors launched into Walker’s associates and campaign donors in May 2010, before he became governor. Three former aides and a Walker campaign donor already have been convicted.

The governor himself hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing.