John Doe investigation expands as Walker aide Tim Russell to face trial on December 3

As the John Doe investigation continues with evidence circling closer to Scott Walker’s political fate at hand, the next stage will continue with the trial of former Walker aide Timothy Russell facing trial on December 3, 2012 despite trying to slink out of justice with petty charges and a few lawyers who dropped out of the case. Walker’s front groups, including the Bradley Foundation and the Koch Brothers, must be getting nervous.

A judge Friday ruled against a bid by a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker to have his felony embezzlement charges thrown out based on an ethical transgression by a defense attorney.

That means former Walker aide Timothy D. Russell will stand trial starting Dec. 3, unless a last-minute plea deal comes through. Russell worked as deputy chief of staff and housing director while Walker was Milwaukee County executive.

It was also disclosed Friday that a plea bargain had been offered to Russell but that he hadn’t accepted it. He’s charged with two felony embezzlement counts accusing him of stealing more than $20,000 from a veterans group and taking more that $2,500 from a county supervisor candidate whose campaign Russell was helping. He’s also charged with a misdemeanor for embezzling a smaller sum from another candidate.

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As the Joe Doe investigation continues, it should be noted what has happened so far. Kevin Kavanaugh, a Walker appointee to the county Veterans Service Board, was convicted in October of stealing over $51,000 in money as donations intended to help veterans and their families. Walker staffer, who used a secret email system installed by Tim Russell within feet from Walker’s Milwaukee County Executive office, Kelly Rindfleisch pleaded guilty last month to felony misconduct for doing campaign work while working for Walker. Also, in that same office, Darlene Wink, Walker’s county constituent services director, pleaded guilty in February to two misdemeanor counts for doing campaign fundraising at the office.

More details will develop and continue to be updated.