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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

UW System Needs To Do a Thorough Background Check on Walker Allies Jim Villa and Georgia Maxwell

Is it a good thing if your job reference is the target of/subject of interest in one if not two John Doe investigations? I mean, shouldn’t you use someone who hasn’t spent more than $400,000 of other people's money on criminal defense attorneys?

I guess that doesn’t matter to Jim Villa, the ethically challenged friend of and former top aide to Scott Walker, who's on the short list for a job with the UW System.

Villa is the head of the Commercial Realtors Association of Wisconsin, which I’m sure is featured prominently on his resume, as is his stint as chief of staff to Walker.

But Jim Villa is so much more.

Villa had (or still has) a lobbying group that was involved in a shady scheme for office space for county workers.

He shows up often in the emails released as part of Kelly Rindfleisch’s conviction in the John Doe 1 case. Villa participated in campaign/county emails that had nothing to do with the campaign—other than that they concerned his friend, Walker, or real estate news he could exploit.

Villa was, notoriously, Rindfleisch’s “landlord” so that she could claim Milwaukee County residency and work for Walker. But as the prosecutors found, Rindfleisch mostly lived in her Columbia County home, and would wake up at 4 a.m. so that she could drive to Milwaukee and do her campaign work on Milwaukee County taxpayers’ dime.

Surely Villa knew that Rindfleisch wasn’t “really” living in Milwaukee County, but he provided cover for her.

Villa tried to tip off Rindfleisch about the Darlene Wink getting busted for politicking while working for Walker. You know—the private router and all that.

 

He also sent Rindfleisch a very curious email about her involvement with his commercial Realtors’ group. “We are not two silos on our own it is one organization,” he wrote to Rindfleisch, before talking about her pay structure and goals.

So the UW System may want to do a little digging if they are seriously considering taking on Villa.

Then there’s Georgia Maxwell, another friend of Walker’s who's up for the UW System job. Maxwell managed his 2008 re-election campaign and she, as well, turns up in the Rindfleisch emails. She also employed Brian Pierick, Tim Russell’s partner, when Pierick was trying to entice a Waukesha boy into his van so that they could exchange porn. Nice judge of character, Georgia.

It’s so sad that the Walker era is so full of these ambitious, unscrupulous “friends.” And, even worse, that they’re on the public’s payroll.

UW: Beware.

UW System Needs To Do a Thorough Background Check on Walker Allies Jim Villa and Georgia Maxwell

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