Guide to the Main Players in the ever-expanding FBI Walkergate “John Doe” Investigation


This is a guide to almost all the main players in the ongoing John Doe investigation being conducted concerning possible corruption charges against when Walker was Milwaukee County executive and leading up to Walker running for governor in 2010 and beyond. The investigation is expanding nearly every day and this guide will be updated as more information is available.

Walker Player Link to Walker Status/Charges
Tim Russell Scott Walker’s former Deputy Chief of Staff, former Housing Administrator, former Economic Development Director, and former Operator of He was fired from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority after it was discovered in 1993 that he improperly billed hotel stays. He set up the secret email network that allowed government staffers to illegally campaign for Walker who was Milwaukee County executive. Mr. Russell also allegedly stole thousands of dollars from Operation Freedom and used the money to pay for Caribbean and Hawaiian vacations and a political trip to Atlanta to meet with Herman Cain’s presidential campaign. One felony count of theft (value exceeding $10,000), a Class G felony punishable by fines of up to $25,000 and/or 10 years in prison. One felony count of theft (value $2,500-5,000), a Class I felony punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and/or 3.5 years in prison. One misdemeanor count of theft (value not exceeding $2,500), a Class A misdemeanor punishable by fines not more than $10,000 and/or up to 9 months in prison.
Criminal Complaint

UPDATE:  A final pre-trial hearing was set for June 4, with a trial scheduled for June 18.


Brian Pierick Pierick and and partner Tim Russell operated Scott Walker’s campaign website, A criminal complaint alleges Pierick tried to entice a 17-year-old boy into his van to have sex and exchanged illicit text messages with a 17-year-old Waukesha boy. He could face up to 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine on the most serious charge he faces. Pierick had worked as an office operations assistant at the state Department of Public Instruction dealing with education for homeless children and youth. Charged with one felony count of child enticement (exposing sex organ), a Class D felony punishable by fines of up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 25 years. One felony count of exposing genitals or pubic area, a Class I Felony, punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3.5 years.
Criminal Complaint
Kevin Kavanaugh Walker’s political appointee to the Milwaukee County Veteran Service Commission was involved in “Operation Freedom” and is alleged to have stolen money allocated for children of Wisconsin military service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under investigation for several serious felony and misdemeanor for embezzling at least $42,232 from the Military Order of the Purple Heart between 2006 and 2009.
Criminal Complaint
Kelly Rindfleisch Walker’s former Deputy Chief of Staff to Scott Walker, personal 2012 campaign fundraiser and former policy analyst for Scott Walker. Her office, which was 25 feet from Walker’s County Executive office, used illegal secret email network set up by Tim Russell and illegally sent more than 1,000 campaign emails and also running fundraising operation for Brett Davis illegally. Four felony counts of misconduct in public office. Each charge is a Class I felony punishable by fines of not more than $10,000 and/or up to 3.5 years in jail for each count.
Criminal Complaint
Darlene Wink Wink, who also served as first vice chair of the Milwaukee County GOP and raised money for Milwaukee County executive Scott Walker while Walker’s constituent services manager, is alleged to have drafted and sent press releases for the Republican Party of Milwaukee County, done phone banking for Walker’s campaign and other matters relating to the county GOP at Walker’s County Executive office. All of these efforts were done using the illegal secret email network set up by Tim Russell. Wink faces two misdemeanor counts each carry penalties of up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000.

Wink’s work computer was confiscated by the FBI. She (as well as Kelly Rindfleisch) used laptop computers that they brought into the office and used the illegal wireless email network to transmit illegal activities.

UPDATE: Darlene Wink pleaded guilty February 7 to two misdemeanor charges of fundraising in the courthouse for then Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s campaign for governor. Wink agreed to provide information to prosecutors as part of a plea deal.

Criminal Complaint

Andrew Jensen, Jr. Jensen is a commercial real estate broker with Boerke Co. and a past president of the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin. Campaign finance records show Jensen made more than $800 in donations to the Walker campaign. Records show Jensen and other Boerke personnel have made more than $12,000 in campaign contributions to Walker. Jensen has big connections with Walker’s personal law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich, which employs the attorney for Walker’s campaign and Reince Priebus, a key Walker backer who is now on leave from the firm to serve as chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was was arrested for failing to cooperate with the John Doe investigation in December, 2011.
Reince Priebus Darlene Wink emailed Priebus to see if the Walker campaign could get former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to attend the fundraiser. Priebus is also part of the Koch Brothers operation “Americans for Prosperity”, which has been very involved in Walker’s extremist agenda that is leading to recall elections as well as “voter caging” during the 2010 election cycle. Priebus could be linked to the secret email network set up in Walker’s County Executive office. Investigations continue on that front.

Priebus is the current chairman of the National Republican Party. This could change quickly.

William Gardner Gardner, president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co. and a major donor to Walker. Mr. Gardner was convicted of the largest campaign finance violation in Wisconsin history where he illegally allocated $43,000 to the Friends of Scott Walker by asking his employees to contribute tens of thousands of dollars. Charged with two felony counts of excessive/unlawful political contributions. Each count is a Class I felony and carries a find of up to $10,000 and/or up to 3.5 years in prison. Sentenced to two years’ probation in July after pleading guilty to two felonies for exceeding campaign contribution limits to Walker’s campaign and laundering additional campaign contributions through employees and associates.
Keith Gilkes Gilkes, Walker’s Chief of Staff, resigned on October 8, which paid him $112,000-per-year. He previously served as campaign manager during the Governor’s race in 2009-10. He worked for the Wisconsin State Legislature as a policy advisor in the State Senate. He had exchanged over 1,000 emails using the secret email system in Walker’s County Executve office. While Chief of Staff, Gilkes had recommended a job for Sen. Randy Hopper’s girlfriend, Valerie Cass, who was hired Feb. 7 as a communications specialist with the state Department of Regulation and Licensing. Additionally, he recommended Brian Deschane, a college dropout who was the son of a Walker political contributor.
Cullen Werwie Werwie worked for the campaign of former Republican State Rep. Brett Davis, who was defeated in the September 2010 Republican Lt. Governor primary. Werwie then worked deputy communications director for Walker’s gubernatorial campaign. Werwie is the governor’s current Communications Director.. Werwie has been granted prosecutorial immunity in the ongoing John Doe investigation on April 14. He was doing communications with the Walker for Governor campaign with staffers using the secret email network.
Joe Fadness Fadness is the operations manager for Friends of Scott Walker. He and Darlene Wink exchanged emails, Internet chat sessions and phone calls during county time, which is illegal at Walker’s Milwaukee County administrative offices. There are calls for Fadness to resign due to his knowledge of illegal campaign activity related to the John Doe investigation.
Brett Davis Kelly Rindfleisch did fundraising for Davis, who Walker supported for lieutenant governor until he lost in the September 2010 GOP primary, from her office while working for Scott Walker. Kelly Rindfleisch sent Davis over 300 emails using the secret email network.
Rose Ann Dieck Dieck is a retired teacher and Milwaukee County Republican party activist who has raised money for Walker’s campaigns since 2005. Dieck was granted immunity in the John Doe investigation.
Kenneth Lucht Lucht is a lobbyist and spokesperson for the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad. He works for William Gardner, who at the time was the president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad, who charged with two felony counts of excessive/unlawful political contributions. Lucht was granted immunity in the John Doe investigation on January 14, 2011.
Fran McLaughlin McLaughlin was Director of Communications for Scott Walker when he was County Executive and had her office next door to where the secret email network was set up. McLaughlin’s office contained scant documents after Walker’s Milwaukee County office was vacated and many records were shredded or missing.
Steven Kreklow Kreklow was Fiscal & Budget Administrator working with Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive. He also was the author of the 2010 and 2011 budget. When crunching the numbers for Walker for the Wisconsin budget, Kreklow admitted that the deficit was only one third the number of what Walker has been reporting.
Cynthia Archer Archer served as the head of the Milwaukee County Department of Administration when Walker was County Executive and served on Walker’s Waste Fraud and Abuse Commission and legislative liaison at the Department of Children and Families. Archer’s work computer was confiscated by the FBI. A FBI spokesman Leonard Peace declined to comment, referring calls to Milwaukee County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern, who also declined to comment.
Tom Nardelli Nardelli was Walker’s chief of staff when Walker was Milwaukee County executive. Nardelli told prosecutors that about $11,000 seemed to be missing from the annual Operation Freedom event at the Milwaukee County Zoo designed to honor military families. Nardelli abruptly quit as his $90,000 a year job as administrator for the state Division of Environmental and Regulatory Services on July 21. He said all Walker’s Milwaukee County office records were saved or disposed of properly, although there were many records that had been shredded and office drawers were empty.
Jim Hiller Hiller, in real estate for 21 years, was Walker’s campaign treasurer for 18 years and on Walker’s transition team as he became governor. Hiller suddenly quit his position as Walker’s treasurer and was replaced by Kate Lind on May 13.
Bob Nenno Nenno was Deputy Director of Communications when Walker was Milwaukee County executive. Nenno also worked as a reporter for WTMJ-TV. When asked about how many other Walker aides were getting their computers confiscated by authorities, Nenno cryptically said “I have been told to refer you to the DA’s office.”
Jim Villa Villa was Walker’s Chief of Staff when he was in the state legislature. He returned to the Chief of Staff position when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive and was gearing up for his first attempt at running for governor. Kelly Rindfleisch, in order to be a public employee in Milwaukee County with the required residence within the county, used Villa’s address to satisfy the requirement.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Current Republican Attorney General and Walker ally who had participated in other John Doe investigations chose not to assist with the investigation of Walker’s former county staffers. Van Hollen continues to not want to get involved in the expanding John Doe investigation, probably due to being more interested in the Republican Party than doing his job.

Many of the sources are combined from the Wisconsin State Journal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other news sources. It’s just a matter of time when the “smoking gun” leads to Scott Walker knwoing what was going on. It’s just a matter of justice.

This evidence, seen on several blogs looking at the FBI investigation, may indeed be the beginning of showing actual proof that Walker did know “about the laptops” that were being used for illegal campaign fundraising and other crimes at the Milwaukee County office.

Look for a video with a timeline of events leading up to the current investigation soon.