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Top Walker aide dies

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  He was an Army Reserve officer, radio traffic reporter, shoe salesman, Milwaukee alderman, and top aide to Governor Scott Walker. Tom Nardelli died yesterday at his home in Menomonee Falls from a heart aneurysm. He was 70.

Nardelli graduated from Milwaukee Riverside High School. He spent 25 years in the Army Reserves, where he retired as a lieutenant colonel. He did traffic reports on WTMJ Radio, and he sold shoes before being elected to the Milwaukee Common Council in 1986.

Nardelli spent 18 years as an alderman. Scott Walker named him his chief-of-staff in the Milwaukee County executive's office in 2007. When Walker was elected governor, Nardelli joined him in Madison as the head of the state Safety-and-Buildings Division. He retired from public service six months later.

Walker called Nardelli a "wonderful public servant and dear friend." Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he dedicated his life to public service and brought a level of "enthusiasm and passion to public policy."

It was Nardelli who first suspected that thousands-of-dollars were taken from a Milwaukee County veterans' fund. It resulted in convictions after a John Doe probe into the county executive's staff. Funeral services for Tom Nardelli are pending.