In the early days leading up to the continuing FBI “John Doe” investigation, Darlene Wink, a former vice chair of the county Republican Party, had resigned from her county job as constituent services coordinator working with Scott Walker in May 2010. After agreeing to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts for using county resources to raise money for Walker’s 2010 gubernatorial bid, Wink does have a chance to get back at her boss who threw her under the bus to protect himself from impending possible charges of evidence tampering, pay-for-play corruption and other charges yet to happen. Wink had used the “secret email system” located in the office of Walker’s deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch, set up by Walker aide and former Walker deputy chief of staff Tim Russell. Rindfleisch faces four felony counts of misconduct and Russell faces felony embezzlement charges as well as Kevin Kavanaugh and child enticement charges against Russell’s domestic partner, Brian Pierick.
Darlene Wink, 61, a former assistant to Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive, was charged late last month along with another former Walker aide.
The guilty plea to two misdemeanor charges could give fresh ammunition to critics seeking to recall Republican Walker over a law he championed last year curbing the powers of public sector unions. A representative for Walker was not immediately available for comment.
Wink had been charged along with another woman, former deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch, in an investigation into allegations of illegal political fundraising.
The investigation found that a private e-mail network had been set up and run out of Walker’s office in 2010 to communicate campaign and government-related information to “select individuals,” according to Milwaukee County prosecutors.
Wink has agreed to assist in the investigation. Walker has said he would talk to prosecutors as part of the investigation.
Wink’s lawyer, Peter Wolff, said the plea agreement calls for Wink to serve no jail time. She will be sentenced May 15 by Circuit Court Judge Daniel Konkol, who could reject the agreement. The two misdemeanors each carry a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail.
There is a lot of damning evidence that Walker will have to answer to in the expanding investigation. While he won’t be asked any questions in softball shill interviews on Fox News and CNBC, Walker will eventually have to come to terms with his special talent for cheating, lying and trying to cover up or destroy the evidence.