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New Charges Stir Wisconsin Political Waters

MILWAUKEE (CN) - Two Milwaukee County officials whom Gov. Scott Walker appointed when he was county executive were charged Thursday with embezzling more than $60,000 from veterans programs and spending the money on Caribbean cruises, wedding expenses and renewing Walker-for-governor websites.

Prosecutors charged Walker's former deputy chief of staff Timothy Russell and county veterans official Kevin Kavanaugh with multiple felonies, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Russell's domestic partner Brian Pierick was charged with felony child enticement, according to the Journal-Sentinel.

Walker told reporters Thursday that he was "disappointed" by the charges, but said that his office had started the investigation by contacting prosecutors about bookkeeping irregularities at Operation Freedom, an annual day to honor veterans.

Walker said he not believe the charges would affect the recall attempt against him, which was spurred by his anti-union legislation.

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