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A former top aide to Gov. Scott Walker lost her bid Friday to have her felony misconduct case shifted to Columbia County.
Kelly Rindfleisch, 43, is charged with four misconduct counts accusing her of doing extensive campaign work in 2010, while she worked her county taxpayer-paid job for Walker in his last year as Milwaukee County executive. She claimed that her true residence was her home in Columbus and sought to have the case tried there instead.
But Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Hansher said the alleged crimes by Rindfleisch happened in Milwaukee County.
"She was neither employed nor paid by Columbia County, nor did she allegedly violate the trust of anyone in Columbia County," Hansher said. "Columbia County might be a nice place to visit, but it would be the wrong and improper place" for Rindfleisch's trial, the judge said.
Rindfleisch served as policy adviser and later as Walker's deputy chief of staff, earning about $60,000 a year. She quit shortly after Walker was elected governor.
While at the county taxpayer supported job, Rindfleisch raised campaign money for Brett Davis, then a state lawmaker and Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, from her office at the courthouse, the complaint says. She also had extensive phone and email contacts with key members of Walker's campaign staff while at her county post, according to the complaint.
Rindfleisch wanted her case moved to Columbia County, where she owns a home, under a 2007 law that permitted misconduct in public office cases to be tried in a person's home county. She argued that though she claimed Milwaukee County residency during part of her time on Walker's staff, her real home has always been in Columbus, about 30 miles northeast of Madison.