Walker Aide Dismissed ‘Crazy’ Woman Who Starved In Mental Health Facility

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February 21, 2014 3:52 p.m.

A top aide to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) dismissed a complaint about conditions in a facility treating the mentally ill with the words “no one cares about crazy people.”

Other top aides brought a complaint a woman’s family filed against the Milwaukee county executive’s office concerning her death after being treated at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex to the attention of then-Walker deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch.

The woman, Cindy Anczak, died in 2006 because of complications having to do with starvation. She lost 22 pounds over roughly five weeks while staying at the complex, according to the Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch in Wisconsin, which flagged the email exchange. Anczak’s family filed the complaint with the Milwaukee County executive office in 2010.

That exchange between then-Walker deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch and other aides came to light as part of a massive document dump of emails from Walker’s time as Milwaukee County executive. In the email, Rindfleisch forwarded the complaint from Anczak’s family to other Walker staffers.

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Rindfleisch first received the complaint through her official county email address and then forwarded it through her personal email address to Walker campaign staffers.

Rindfleisch wrote in one email that the County’s attorney wanted to offer between “50-100k” in a settlement on the complaint.

“Ok —any time after Nov. 2nd would be the time to offer a settlement,” Walker campaign official Keith Gilkes responded.

Rindfleisch then, in another email, noted that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) would “make this the center of his campaign.” Barrett ran against Walker in 2010.

“Yep and he is still going to lose because that is his base,” county official Joan Hansen responded.

“Yep,” Rindfleisch wrote back. “No one cares about crazy people.”

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