Friday, October 22, 2010
Rokita Does A Disservice By Refusing To Release White Report
Secretary of State Todd Rokita's office has completed an investigation of allegations Republican Secretary of State candidate Charlie White committed voter fraud by using an address where he did not actually live in order to hold a seat on the Fishers town council. Rokita told reporters today his office spent more than 100 hours preparing a 265-page report his office has now forwarded to the special prosecutors investigating the allegations. Rokita made no recommendations to the special prosecutors in the report. Rokita does not have authority to prosecute voter fraud cases, was not acting as a law enforcement agency in gathering evidence concerning the allegations and collected the information contained in the report without the power of subpoena. Yet he tells reporters today he does not intend to make the report public. The public will not know the outcome of the investigation being conducted by the special prosecutors until after the election. The news media should go to court and attempt to force Rokita to release the report. Indiana's access to public records law exempts "investigatory records of law enforcement agencies" from disclosure; however, it doesn't appear to me the Secretary of State was acting in the capacity of a law enforcement agency to claim his findings are exempt from the law. Even if he was, the public access law exempts basic information police gather in making arrests and reduce to arrest record reports. Anybody else have their thoughts on whether Rokita's report is covered by the investigatory records exemption?