MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- A close associate of Governor Scott Walker has been sentenced to two years in prison for misconduct in public office, when the aide stole thousands from a veterans fund, and more money from political candidates.
Milwaukee County Judge David Hansher Tuesday sentenced 49-year old Timothy Russell to the prison term and five years of extended supervision. Russell pleaded guilty in November to stealing more than $20,000 from the nonprofit veterans group.
"Your honor, I am sorry for my actions, all of them," an emotional Russell told the court. "Please know that I will spend every day that I have left attempting to make up for what I have done."
Russell used stolen funds to reimburse one of the candidates he had taken money from, but also to pay for a vacation to Hawaii, a Caribbean cruise, and a trip to confer with then-presidential candidate Herman Cain and one of his advisers.
Hansher said a pre-sentence investigation shows Russell labeled the on-going probe that ensnared him as political, and claimed he was transparent about securing the money, and would have been more savvy if he had intended to steal it.
Hansher praised the integrity of the judge overseeing the continuing secret probe into former Walker associates, and called Russell's logic on the stolen money "ridiculous."
"There's absolutely no true regret, remorse, or repentance. I find that you don't even have any shame," Hansher said.
Russell was one of six people charged in the investigation of the Milwaukee County Executive's office back when Walker held that position. Russell and four others have been convicted. The trial for the sixth begins later this month.
Walker has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Hansher rejected a request to allow Russell to remain free on bond while his post-conviction appeals run their course, and Russell was handcuffed by sheriff's deputies and taken away. Russell is the first person to be out behind bars as a result of the investigation.
At a Madison event, a 27 News reporter asked Walker if he believed Russell's prison sentence was fair. Russell has no prior record, and his attorney had argued for a probation term.
"I'm not a judge," Walker said.
Assistant Milwaukee County District Attorney Bruce Landgraf declined comment on his reaction to the judge's acceptance of Landgraf's prison recommendation, or the future of the secret investigation.
MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- A former aide to Scott Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive will be sentenced Tuesday for felony theft.
Timothy Russell pleaded guilty in November to stealing more than $20,000 from a non-profit group that helps members of the military and their families. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. But as part of a plea agreement, prosecutors have recommended a sentence of two years.
Russell's attorney says he'll request a sentence of probation only at the hearing Tuesday morning.
Russell was one of six people charged in the "John Doe Investigation" of the Milwaukee County executive's office. Russell and four others have been convicted. The trial for the sixth person charged begins later this month. Walker was not charged in the case.
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