Crime and Court Roundup: Former Walker aide pleads guilty to felony misconductWisconsin News
-- A plea deal means that Governor Scott Walker will not have to testify against one of his former aides in the Milwaukee County executive’s office.
A plea deal means that Governor Scott Walker will not have to testify against one of his former aides in the Milwaukee County executive’s office. Prosecutor Bruce Landgraf won’t say whether Walker’s possible testimony was a factor in settling Kelly Rindfleisch’s felony misconduct case before a trial could begin on Monday. But Landgraf said quote, “This case was never about Governor Scott Walker – It was always about Kelly Rindfleisch.” She wanted to plead no contest yesterday to charges that she illegally did campaign work on taxpayers’ time. But Judge David Hansher told Rindfleisch to either admit or deny the allegations – and she pleaded guilty. She’ll be sentenced November 19th, and her plea deal calls for jail time with a possible work release privilege, and no fine. Rindfleisch was convicted of one felony charge of misconduct in office. Three others were dropped. Also, she will have to help prosecutors in their ongoing John Doe investigation. But Landgraf says Rindfleisch might be called as a witness against former Walker official Tim Russell, who’s charged with embezzling 21-thousand-dollars from a county program that recognizes veterans. That trial is due to begin December third. Walker is on the list of witnesses for that trial as well – but it’s not certain whether he’ll be subpoenaed.
A man who used to own two furniture galleries in the Madison area will spend five years in prison for providing the heroin that killed a 24-year-old man. Peter Heine, who’s 51, was convicted in July of reckless homicide in the death of Anthony Heeb of McFarland. He was found unconscious in his bedroom in May of last year. Heine said he never meant to hurt anyone – he quote, “slipped off the track” – and he’s ready to become a good person again. But Dane County Circuit Judge Julie Genovese said Heine will need more rehabilitation because he’s still addicted to heroin. She said a prison term would let him get some treatment.
A pediatrician from Eau Claire is free on a signature bond, after he was accused of molesting a 16-year-old patient. Doctor David Van De Loo is charged with two felony counts of exposure and second-degree sexual assault by a child welfare or care employee. According to prosecutors, the victim’s parents said their son was sexually assaulted during an exam at the Mayo Clinic’s facility in Eau Claire. Police investigated, and the 60-year-old Van De Loo was fired September 12th. His lawyer said Van De Loo might have used poor judgment – but he’s not guilty of a sexual assault. He’s due back in court October 29th.
Prosecutors and state health officials have joined police agencies in investigating a man’s death at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex. Officials said 25-year-old Brandon Johnson died last Saturday from a broken neck which caused a blood clot to form in one of his legs. It traveled up to his lungs, and Johnson suffered a pulmonary embolism as a result. According to sheriff’s investigators, Milwaukee Police were called to a home October third where a man was acting irrationally – and he was in handcuffs and leg irons when he was admitted to the county’s Behavioral Health Division. Johnson died at the facility last weekend. He was the fifth patient to die at Milwaukee’s Mental Health Complex this year. District Attorney John Chisholm said yesterday that his office has joined the investigation by sheriff’s deputies and Milwaukee Police. The state health services department’s Quality Assurance Division is also investigating. And Johnson’s relatives said they’ve hired an attorney to look into the death on their behalf.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear a pair of cases next month at the historic Green County Courthouse in Monroe. The 121-year-old courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places – and the state’s highest court will hear oral arguments there on November fifth. Those arguments will run about an hour for each case. The public is invited to look on, but they’re encouraged to make reservations with the court to guarantee a spot. Local leaders will welcome the justices before the proceedings begin. They’ll also speak at a senior center, and have lunch at Turner Hall in Monroe. The State Supreme Court holds proceedings outside of Madison from time-to-time, to give Wisconsinites a closer view of the state’s justice system.