The state’s top election official will face seven felony counts, including voter fraud, perjury and theft, a special prosecutor said today.
Secretary of State Charlie White was accused of intentionally voting in the wrong precinct during the May 2010 primary, a potential felony.
If ultimately convicted of a felony, White would have to give up the position that he won by a wide margin over Democrat Vop Osili in November’s election.
White has admitted to voting in a district where he no longer lived. The registered address was a home he had shared on and off with his now ex-wife until 2009 . . .
Special Prosecutors John Dowd, a Republican, and Daniel Sigler, a Democrat, also investigated less-serious charges that White's campaign neglected to place a payment disclosure on a mailer, as required by election guidelines.
In light of today's indictment, I think Marion Co. Prosecutor Terry Curry needs to reopen the case of former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Patrice Abduallah, who falsely claimed an address in a city-county council district in which he did not live for nearly four years. Even after Marion Co. Clerk Beth White discovered he was living outside the district after he filed a statement of candidacy for the May 2007 primary election showing his address outside the district, White ignored it and allowed his name to be placed on the primary ballot and to continue serving as a councilor drawing salary and benefits in clear violation of Indiana law. When I later discovered in August of that year that the home he was claiming as his voting address was an abandoned home and published it on this blog, Democrats forced Abduallah to resign from the council and drop his bid for re-election--after the legal deadline for naming a replacement candidate for the November ballot. Democrats caucused and appointed Andre Carson to fill Abduallah's seat, but White, as the chief elections officer for Marion County, allowed Carson's name to replace Abduallah's on the ballot in violation of Indiana law. Former Marion Co. GOP Chairman Tom John refused to press the issue on behalf of Republicans. He was later hired by a close political ally of the Carson political machine, Lacy Johnson, to work as a lobbyist at Ice Miller following the November election. This story bears repeating because it is emblematic of the hypocrisy in our political and legal system today. I don't excuse what White did, but I abhor selective enforcement of our laws.
UPDATE: The perjury charges relate to false statements White is accused of making on his marriage license for his marriage to his second wife and his voter registration. The theft charge relates to taking his salary as a Fishers Town Council member when he didn't reside in his district. He is also charged with fraud for lying on his mortgage application. Again, Prosecutor Curry, we're waiting for you to bring similar charges in the Patrice Abduallah matter. We're all paying for a 65% increase in our local income tax with his deciding vote because he fraudulently claimed to represent my district on the city council when he lived in another council district. Fox59 News reports White turned himself in to the Hamilton Co. Sheriff's office at 2:30 for processing on the criminal charges accompanied by his father Darrell White.
UPDATE II: I previously reported Gov. Mitch Daniels had privately asked White to resign his office. Now he is publicly calling for him to step down. Daniels says his position is supported by White's fellow Republican statewide officeholders. Here's his statement:
“This news is sad and regrettable, but the only course of honor is for Mr. White to step down from his duties, at least during the duration of these proceedings until a verdict is reached.Daniels will name White's successor if he resigns.
"It would be neither credible nor appropriate for the state’s top elections official to continue to perform his duties while contesting criminal charges, some of them under the very laws the Secretary of State implements. I have consulted with each of the other statewide elected officials and our judgment about this is unanimous.”