UNDATED (WSAU) Testimony continues today in the trial of Kevin Kavanaugh, the former Milwaukee County Walker aide accused of stealing $42,000 in donations for veterans. Kavanaugh served on the Milwaukee County Veterans Service Commission during Governor Scott Walker’s years as the county executive. And prosecutors said Kavanaugh took donations from an annual event at the County Zoo designed to help veterans and their families.
Former chief-of-staff Tom Nardelli testified that Walker’s office transferred responsibility for the event to the Military Order of the Purple Heart in 2006 – and prosecutors said Kavanaugh had access to the money as the group’s treasurer.
Nardelli said Walker’s office had concerns as early as 2007. He said staffers tried numerous times to confront Kavanaugh about the matter but couldn’t. So at Walker’s urging, they went to the district attorney in 2009, and charges were filed earlier this year.
Defense lawyer Christopher Hartley said in his opening statement that Kavanaugh gave the group’s money to veterans who needed help. And Hartley called Kavanaugh a “lousy bookkeeper.” The 62-year-old Kavanaugh was among five ex-Walker associates charged in a John Doe investigation – and he’s the first to go on trial. The proceedings are scheduled to continue through Friday.