Indiana election chief found guilty of voter fraud
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Saturday, February 04, 2012, 22:21
  
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 positions.

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.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, February 04, 2012, 22:21


comments powered by Disqus