Indiana election chief found guilty of voter fraud

Indiana`s top elections official was convicted of multiple voter fraud-related charges.

Indianapolis: Indiana`s top elections official
was convicted of multiple voter fraud-related charges on Saturday,
leaving in flux the fate of one of the state`s most powerful

Republican Secretary of State Charlie White has held on to
his office for more than a year despite being accused of lying
about his address on voter registration forms.

State law bars anyone convicted of a felony from remaining
in office. It wasn`t immediately clear how quickly White could
be replaced or who might succeed him.

Prosecutors said White used his ex-wife`s address instead
of a condo he had with his fiancee because he didn`t want to
give up his USD 1,000-per-month town council salary after
moving out of that district.

A Hamilton County jury found White guilty of six out of
seven felony charges, including false registration, voting in
another precinct, submitting a false ballot, theft and two
counts of perjury. He was acquitted on one fraud charge.
White had vigorously protested the charges in hearings
before a state elections panel, but presented no defence
during the weeklong trial.

White, 42, has said the charges ignored a complicated
personal life in which he was trying to raise his 10-year-old
son, plan his second marriage and campaign for the statewide
office he won that November.

He said he stayed at his ex-wife`s house when he wasn`t on
the road campaigning and did not live in the condo until after
he remarried.

White expressed no outward emotion as the verdict was
read, and later said outside the courtroom: "`I`m disappointed
for my family and the people who supported me."

White and his attorneys said the fate of his elected post
remains unknown and ultimately may have to be decided by the
governor or state supreme court. "We will review our options,"
he said.

No sentencing date was set. White`s attorney, Carl Brizzi,
said he will ask the judge to reduce the charges to
misdemeanours because his client has no criminal background
and has a long record of public service.
Republican special prosecutor John Dowd said he`s also
unsure about the fate of White`s position, but expressed
satisfaction about the verdict.