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Walker Investigation Timeline

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March 9 Scott Walker announces that he has set up a criminal defense fund to help pay for his Chicago-based criminal defense team. According to independent legal experts and Wisconsin state statute, a criminal defense fund can only be established if Scott Walker is, "being investigated, being charged with or has been convicted of a criminal violation."

February 25 Tim Russell, Scott Walker's right hand and former Deputy Chief of Staff, pleads not guilty to embezzling more than $21,000 from a Veterans organization. Russell allegedly used the money to pay for Caribbean and Hawaiian vacations.

February 24 A judge denies a motion by Scott Walker's former campaign aide and operator of to have his case thrown out. The decision means that Brian Pierick will stand trial on felony counts of child enticement.

February 22 Scott Walker's former Deputy Chief of Staff, Kelly Rindfleisch is released on $1,000 bond. Rindfleisch faces four felony misconduct charges for illegal campaign activity that took place just feet from Scott Walker's desk.

February 7
Scott Walker's longtime aide, Darlene Wink pleads guilty to doing illegal fundraising and political work on Walker's behalf.

February 6
After leading the public to believe that he was entering into meetings with corruption probe investigators as a matter of courtesy, Scott Walker admits that the prosecutors had requested a meeting.

February 3
Scott Walker issues a misleading press release in an attempt to deceive the public into thinking he "voluntarily" contacted the District Attorney's office.

Just three days later, the public would learn that Scott Walker lied and it was, in fact, prosectors who had requested the meeting.

The press release from Walker's campaign on February 3rd also reveals that Scott Walker has retained the counsel of two high-priced, high-powered attorneys who specialize in white collar crimes.

January 27
“I have no comment,” said Brett Davis, the first time he had said anything about the case.

January 26 Prosecutors charge two top aides who worked directly for Scott Walker. Both are charged with illegally doing extensive political work while being paid by taxpayers to do county jobs.

Kelly Rindfleisch, deputy chief of staff to Walker in 2010 and his personal campaign fundraiser through January of this year, is charged with four felony counts of misconduct in office.

Darlene Wink is charged with two misdemeanor counts for using county resources to raise money for Walker's 2010 gubernatorial bid.

The criminal complaints allege that much of the illegal activity took place less than 25 feet from Scott Walker’s office and that Walker’s inner circle used an illegal “secret email system” to avoid open records requests in order to hide their illegal activity from the public.

January 5

Prosecutors charge Tim Russell, Walker’s former Deputy Chief of Staff and longtime campaign aide, and Kevin Kavanaugh, Walker’s political appointee to a Veterans Commission, with multiple felonies for stealing more than $60,000 intended for the families of military service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Evidence brought forth by the prosecutors shows that Scott Walker inexplicably ordered the transfer of control from the American Legion, a nationally recognized veterans organization, to Tim Russell, who had no experience running a non-profit.

Brian Pierick, a close Walker friend and former operator of is charged with felony child enticement and is accused of sending graphic sexual text messages and online chats to a minor.


December 13

Authorities arrest Andrew Jensen, a Scott Walker campaign donor and real estate broker with Boerke Co., for allegedly refusing to cooperate with the John Doe Investigations.

According to the Associated Press, a total of $12,150 was given to Walker’s Gubernatorial Campaign from employees of Boerke.

December 2

Andrew Jensen seeks a private immunity deal in the John Doe proceedings. The court refuses, and later rules that all immunity deals in the case are to be made public.

September 28

Scott Walker says that as a former Eagle Scout and son of a Baptist minister, he couldn’t be the target of the John Doe Investigation.

September 14

The FBI raids the home of Cindy Archer, a top-ranking administrator for Scott Walker.

September 2

Newspaper reports reveal that the Walker Campaign has paid $60,000 in legal fees regarding the John Doe Investigation.

August 19

Cynthia "Cindy" Archer, deputy secretary for the state Department of Administration, quits her lucrative job, and then accepts a position for the Department of Children and Families (for a significant pay cut).

She then promptly takes a medical leave.

July 21

Tom Nardelli, Scott Walker's former Chief of Staff, resigns from his state job abruptly.

July 7

William Gardner, a top donor to Walker’s campaign, is sentenced to nine months' probation after pleading guilty to two felonies for illegally funneling more than $43,000 to Scott Walker’s 2010 campaign.

April 14

Immunity from prosecution is granted to Cullen Werwie, Scott Walker’s spokesperson and former campaign staffer.

January 14

Lobbyist Ken Lucht of Wisconsin and Southern Railroad testifies under an immunity grant.


December 21

Immunity is granted to Rose Ann Dieck, a Republican Party activist with close ties to Scott Walker.

December 7

Authorities conduct raids of Tim Russell’s home and business office. Tim Russell has been Scott Walker’s right-hand man for more than 8 years.

November 19

Four more Wisconsin and Southern employees receive immunity from prosecution.

November 15

Prosecutors meet with Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to ask for help with the ongoing, complex investigation in Republican staffers and Scott Walker’s administration.

November 12

Kelly Rindfleisch leaves her County job and joins Scott Walker's campaign as a chief fundraiser.

November 2

Walker is elected Governor of Wisconsin.

November 1

Authorities raid Scott Walker’s campaign office and County Executive Office one day before the election. Scott Walker hires former U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic of Michael Best & Friedrich.

August 20

Authorities seize the work computer of Tim Russell, Scott Walker’s housing director and former Deputy Chief of Staff.

July 29

Two Wisconsin and Southern Railroad employees receive immunity by John Doe investigators. They admit to giving thousands of dollars to Walker’s campaign, for which they were illegally reimbursed by William Gardner.

William Gardner is the President of Wisconsin and Southern Railroad, as well as a major Walker campaign donor.

May 18

Walker returns all donations related to William Gardner. Gardner donates them to charity and publicly accepts responsibility.

May 13

Darlene Wink, Constituent Services Coordinator for Scott Walker, resigns after admitting to posting anonymous, political comments regarding Walker while on the clock at her Milwaukee County desk.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm launches the secret John Doe investigation, targeting at-work campaign activity by Scott Walker staff members.

May 10

The Government Accountability Board (GAB) begins its investigation into the Gardner donations.

April 19

Stacy Long, former girlfriend of William Gardner, reports to the GAB that Gardner asked her to donate $10,000 to Walker using his money.

January 20-31

Kelly Rindfleisch is hired to work in Scott Walker's administration, yet when she shows up for work, Scott Walker’s Chief of Staff doesn’t know who she is or that she’s been hired.

According to the criminal complaint, Rindfleisch tells a friend that there’s a secret network in Walker’s office, that she takes direction from Russell and that half of her job consists of policy work for Walker’s campaign for Governor.

Rindfleisch begins fundraising for the Brett Davis for Lieutenant Governor Campaign, collecting $1,000 per month while still working in the County Executive’s Office.


October 20

Walker transfers $19,000 of Operation Freedom Funds to Heritage Guard, and gives control of its finances to Tim Russell, who has no experience running a nonprofit.

The Walker and Russell memo transfers the, “ownership, responsibility and operation” of Operation Freedom to Heritage Guard. In turn, Walker terminates the County’s agreement with the Cudworth Legion Post, an institution that, according to the complaint, had done an exemplary job managing the funds. The Cudworth Legion Post is a local chapter of the American Legion, a well-known national veterans organization.


Todd Hunter, a lawyer who helped set up Heritage Guard in 2004, turns over control of the nonprofit organization to Russell.

February 17

Operation Freedom finances are transferred to the Alonzo Cudworth American Legion Post #23. According to the complaint, no financial management issues arise during the time period in which the Cudworth Post has control over the Operation Freedom contributions and expenses.

The Cudworth Legion Post takes over responsibility for Operation Freedom because of $11,000 in missing Operation Freedom Funds, allegedly embezzled by former Finance Officer and Walker Appointee, Kevin Kavanaugh.


Tim Russell is promoted to Walker’s Deputy Chief of Staff.