Last February we discussed the criminal case of a former Wisconsin government aide who is accused of diverting charitable funds into his own bank account. As Gov. Scott Walker's former deputy chief of staff awaits his December trial on theft charges, another aide is reeling from his own recent white collar crime conviction, which could result in a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine at his upcoming sentencing.
The 62-year-old aide was found guilty of embezzlement after being accused of stealing more than $42,000 from a fund to benefit the families of military veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He too worked for Walker when he was Milwaukee County executive, and was the treasurer of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He also served on the Milwaukee County Veteran Service Commission.
After Walker's chief of staff raised a red flag about the handling of funds for a charity event managed by the Purple Heart, investigators identified several aides in Walker's office who were suspected of criminal activity. The Purple Heart treasurer and the deputy chief of staff to be tried in December were just two of the people implicated. Another deputy chief of staff pleaded guilty last week to felony misconduct in public office. She admitted to working on the campaigns of other Republicans in place of her regular duties in the county executive's office.
Investigators are still looking into the activities of the Milwaukee County executive office, which Walker headed from 2002 to 2010. Although the governor himself has not been implicated, it's possible that employees of that office who had nothing to do with the charity scam will get caught up in the investigation and wrongly accused. In large-scale probes such as this one, it's wise for employees who are being investigated to seek legal counsel immediately, no matter what stage the case is in.
Source: Reuters, "Former aide to Scott Walker convicted of embezzlement," Brendan O'Brien, Oct. 12, 2012
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