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Former Walker aide pleads not guilty, wants change of venue

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A court gavel
A court gavel

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WSAU) – Former Milwaukee County Walker aide Tim Russell pleaded not guilty this afternoon to charges that he stole $21,000 from a county program aimed at helping veterans.

The 48-year-old Russell also asked that his trial be moved to a different county because of all the publicity the case has attracted. Circuit Judge David Hansher rejected the request for now – but he agreed to review the matter before a hearing on pre-trial requests June 4th. A tentative trial date was set for June 18th.

The veterans’ program is an annual event held at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Russell has also pleaded not guilty to stealing $550,000 from a County Board candidate’s fund.

Also today, a judge in Waukesha refused to dismiss child enticement charges against Russell’s domestic partner, Brian Pierick. He was accused of meeting a 17-year-old Waukesha boy for possible sex. His attorney said the boy claimed he was 19, and his client never intended to have sex with the youngster.

The case is not related to Russell’s charges – but officials said the evidence cropped up during the same John Doe investigation in which Russell and three other former Walker aides were charged.

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