MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- One of Gov. Scott Walker's former aides was convicted Thursday on a single charge of felony misconduct in office in a deal with prosecutors.
Kelly Rindfleisch entered a guilty plea in front of Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Hansher.
Rindfleisch served as Walker's deputy chief of staff during his time as Milwaukee County executive in 2010. While on the job, Rindfleisch did campaign work for republican Brett Davis' lieutenant governor campaign, exchanging more than 1,300 campaign-related emails over several months during county office hours.
Rindfleisch faced four felony counts of misconduct in office. She reached a deal with Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf. Landgraf agreed to recommend she be sentenced to jail and probation rather than prison and promised not to seek restitution.
Hansher refused to delay the judgment of Rindfleisch's felony conviction until November 7 and allow her to be able to vote in the upcoming presidential election.
Rindfleisch faces sentencing next month. If Hansher imposes a prison or jail sentence, Rindfleisch may ask for a stay of the sentence while she pursues court appeals of aspects of her case.
Landgraf says the conviction sends a message.
"It sends the message that campaign fundraising in a government building, on government time, is a Class-I felony and will be vigorously prosecuted under any circumstances, whether there are Democrats or Republicans involved," says Landgraf.
Walker had been scheduled to testify as a witness in Rindfleisch's trial after being served a subpoena by Rindfleisch's attorney. But Landgraf says the prospect of a sitting governor taking the witness stand in a criminal trial did not hasten the plea agreement.
Landgraf also distanced the governor from this prosecution.
"This case was not about Governor Scott Walker. It was all about Kelly Rindfleisch," says Landgraf.
Rindfleisch becomes the second former Walker aide in Milwaukee County to be criminally convicted for illegal political actions.
Those convictions, other charges, and the conviction of a Walker donor for making illegal campaign contributions, all stem from a secret, John Doe investigation.
Landgraf told reporters to draw their own conclusions, when asked why Rindfleisch's plea agreement did not explicitly require her to cooperate with authorities on continuing investigations.
Walker has maintained he's cooperated with the continuing, secret probe, and has done nothing illegal.
Rindfleisch and her attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, left the courthouse without comment.
MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- A former aide to Governor Scott Walker will enter a plea in her misconduct case Thursday.
Documents also state prosecutors would not oppose a stay of any jail term, while Rindfleisch appeals previous court decisions on motions in the case.
The plea hearing takes place days before Rindfleisch's trial was expected to commence, with expected testimony from Gov. Walker.
Authorities say Rindfleisch worked on campaign matters for a lieutenant governor candidate in 2010, while on the job as deputy chief of staff for then-Milwaukee County executive Walker. Rindfleisch is charged with four felony crimes.
Tony Galli will be at today's court hearing and will have full reports on 27 News at 5 and 6.
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