Tuesday, October 11, 2011

White Files Vote Fraud And Homestead Fraud Complaint Against Evan & Susan Bayh

Embattled Secretary of State Charlie White has filed a complaint in his individual capacity with Marion Co. Prosecutor Terry Curry charging former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh and his wife, Susan, with vote fraud and homestead exemption fraud to illustrate the hypocrisy of the witch hunt Indiana Democrats have pursued against him for the past year to destroy him politically and financially. White wants a special prosecutor appointed to investigate the allegations contained in his 5-page complaint against the Bayhs. White charges that the Bayhs have continued to cast votes and claim a homestead exemption on a $58,000 condominium on the city's north side where neither has ever resided since he left the Senate earlier this year following his retirement. "It is time for the Indiana Democratic Party's hypocrisy to stop with their persecution of me and my family for personal gain," White said. White charged that both Bayhs are "alleged felons" based on Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker's definition of residence for the purpose of casting votes.

White contends that the Bayhs principally reside at their $2.3 million home in Washington, D.C. while Evan travels to various cities to perform work on behalf of his five employers, none of which are located in Indianapolis. "He no longer serves in the U.S. Senate and no longer has legal immunity to vote here," White said. White accuses the Bayhs of a pattern of claiming places as their voting residence at which they never lived. He noted that the Bayhs twice voted using the residence of Philip Lehmkuhler as their home. Lehmkuhler served in the cabinet of Bayh when he was Indiana governor and now works as an Obama appointee at USDA as Indiana Director. During another period, the Bayhs cast votes while claiming the home of Fred Glass as their voting address. Glass, who is now Athletic Director for IU, once served as Bayh's Chief of Staff and later as a partner at Baker & Daniels, which has a Washington lobbying practice, where Bayh was paid $1 million for a short stint as a partner while he campaigned for the U.S. Senate after leaving the governor's office. The Bayhs later purchased a condominium at 1142 Canterbury Square on Indianapolis' north side, which they have claimed as their voting address and for which they receive a homestead exemption. By all accounts, the Bayhs have never lived at the 1142 Canterbury Square address off of 86th Street west of Meridian. The Bayhs typically stay in hotels during their visits to Indiana.

White believes Bayh is claiming a residence in Indiana despite the fact that he no longer lives here so that he may one day run for governor again if he so chooses. "Evan Bayh, while living in a $2.3 million home in Washington, D.C. and making millions along with Mrs. Bayh, do not primarily reside in the $58,200 condominium in Indianapolis and should not have claimed a homestead exemption nor should they have voted here in the Municipal Democratic Primary of 2011," White stated. White calls on Bayh to use his influence over the Indiana Democratic Party to get the party to drop its challenge to his election. The Party has appealed its case to the Marion Co. Circuit Court after the Recount Commission unanimously sided with White in ruling that he was a legally registered voter in Hamilton Co. The Democrats have claimed White was not legally registered to vote because he had voted at his ex-wife's home for a period after their divorce but prior to his marriage to his second wife and moving into a new condominium he purchased to live with his second wife. White claimed that his personal financial struggles forced him to live with his ex-wife for a short period prior to his second marriage.

Separately, a highly-partisan special prosecutor, Democrat Dan Sigler, obtained a multi-count indictment from a grand jury against White on specious grounds arising out of his living and voting arrangement during the period in question. White's criminal defense attorney, Carl Brizzi, has filed a motion to dismiss all of those charges. His motion includes several claims of prosecutorial misconduct by Sigler and his son, who he hired to assist him without the permission of the court, during the grand jury deliberations. Brizzi claims Sigler failed to properly instruct the jurors on the required elements to be proven to establish the crimes with which he asked them to charge White, and that he withheld pertinent evidence from the grand jurors that would have led them not to bring charges against him. White's criminal trial is scheduled for late January. Marion Co. Circuit Court Judge Louis Rosenberg has scheduled a hearing on the Democrats' appeal of the Recount Commission ruling in White's favor for November 23, two days before the Thanksgiving holiday.

UPDATE: Capital And Washington blog uses photographs of the homes in question to illustrate White's point about the Bayh voting residence question.

Do you think the Bayh's actual home is this run-down condominium development at Canterbury Square?

Or is it this palatial home in D.C.?


varangianguard said...

Secy. White is coming off as a petulant seven year-old. Reading through the complaint gives me the impression that he's just whining (and in a partisan fashion).

The thing is, the cases are completely different. How different is for Secy. White's upcoming trial(s) to determine.

Paul said...


Sure, every case is different. Still, White's (valid) point is that the Dem. Party is screaming bloody murder about a Republican and completely ignoring the fact this has occured in its own party. White is pointing out and drawing attention to these completely partisan and hypocritical actions of the Indiana Democratic Party the best way he can.

Also, whether Bayh's case is "completely different" has no bearing whatsoever on White's case. It is an unrelated matter that will not be considered in any way during White's trial (but should be considered by the public).

Gary R. Welsh said...

I'm not sure, Paul, but I believe Charlie was planning to subpoena Bayh as a witness in his criminal trial.

Paul said...

How would that legal argument work Gary? If Bayh hasn't been prosecuted, than White is not guilty?

It would seem that a judge would not allow much testimony on this subject, as the facts of another person's (alleged) crime are generally irrelevant.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I think that's the point he wants to prove, Paul. I doubt that the judge will allow Bayh to be served as a witness.

varangianguard said...

I agree that both political parties in Indiana are completely partisan and usually hypocritical, Paul.

But, if this is the best Secy. White's got, well, I vote for it being considered sad and pathetic.

Perhaps the issue of having a "home" back in Indiana should be addressed by the legislature, for clarity's sake. But, as far back as I can remember, behavior similar to former Sen. Bayh was "usual and customary" for national representatives from both parties.

I wonder if this petition will even get anything other than some free media? I would assume that had I initiated a suit for the same reason, it would have been laughed/tossed right out of court.

Secy. White is going to find that he has opened a Pandora's Box that members of his own party will (soon enough) not appreciate, at the very least. A former mayor of Terre Haute opened a similar box regarding the Little Hatch Act, and last I checked, he is pretty much a political pariah in them there parts.

Paul said...

I am not sure what you mean by "best Secy. White's got". To me, it seems this is a tactic to draw attention to former Senator Bayh's residency, and show this whole thing is a partisan argument. If so, it appears to be somewhat successful, as the story is being carried state-wide (unlike most of the White drama that I have to read on blogs for any insight).

You may be right that this lawsuit might earn Charlie few friends among the elected class, but I think he may be more concerned about the general populace currently. Either way, Charlie White will most likely be a one-term SoS.

I agree that Bayh's actions may be the usual among Senators. I think White is saying "if it's good enough for a Senator.." Personally, I think it would have been a bit more interesting if White pursued this after the 2011 election has passed. It would seem harder for Bayh to claim residency now as a former Senator than it would have last year as a Senator. If Bayh doesn't vote, that could be an issue when he claims to be a "lifelong Hoosier" if he runs for Governor again.

varangianguard said...

Just a minor additional detail. The complaint against Bayh focuses on a primary election while the complaint against White concerns a general election.

Two completely different "animals", if I'm not mistaken.

Why pick on Bayh? Well, because he doesn't have local staff who could lambast you in the media on a daily basis (like our current Senators).

As to your final point, I agree.

Jeff Cox said...

Concerning the Canterbury Square condominium, you yourself have admitted that the Bayhs purchased it. They own it. They own other homes, to be sure, but they do own the residence.

As I understand it, White did not own the residence out of which he voted. There is no legal documentation to show that he had a rental agreement for the residence. He did own a different residence.

Major difference.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Jeff, Charlie purchased the home at which he was registered to vote with his ex-wife. The home was awarded to his ex-wife in the divorce. He initially rented an apartment. He decided to purchase a condo which he initially rented. His fiance' moved into condo first. He later closed on it, but his fiance' did not want him living with her until they were officially married--there were kids from both marriages to think about. As soon as he got married, he switched his voting address from his ex-wife's home to the condo. All of this transpired over a period of less than 12 months. At all times he was a registered voter in Hamilton Co. where he has always resided. This issue has been completely blown out of proportion. Nobody in the history of this state has been prosecuted and persecuted for such a flimsy allegation as what he has faced. This is the dirtiest politics that could possibly be played. The Democrats should be hung for what they are doing to him. It's no wonder good people don't want any part of the political process. They are engaged in felonies on a daily basis and then have the nerve to try and hang White for what amounts to jay walking.

Paul said...

Jeff: you seem to be confusing the legal right to reside with the actual act of residing.

My understanding is that White spent a fair amount of time at the address he was registered to vote at during the period in question. In fact, people have testified to that fact under oath. Meanwhile, it appears doubtful that Bayh has done the same since leaving the Senate.

Jeff Cox said...


Bayh can make a prima facie case that he resides there because he has the legal paperwork to show that he owns or rents the residence. Now, you might be able to make a case that he does not actually live there, but you would have to overcome the presumption created by his ownership.

White cannot make a similar prima facia case. He did not and does not own or rent the residence from which he voted. There is a residence that White (as I understand it) actually owns, but he did not vote from there. That second residence was outside White's town council district, while the first residence was not. His evidence that he did live in the first residence consists primarily of testimony from his ex-wife who at that time was represented by White's friend Carl Brizzi.

The math does not add up for White and from an appearance of impropriety standpoint it looks horrible. Whether Bayh actually lives in his condo or not, he at least made the pretense of having a legitimate residence from which to vote. White did not even do that. That is why White is being prosecuted and Bayh is not.

Jeff Cox said...


Check out the investigation into vote fraud during the 2003 Democrat mayoral primary in east Chicago. This type of residency issue came up repeatedly during that investigation and was prosecuted. The difference is that the people doing it there were low-level city employees, not elected officials.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Jeff, My recollection of those East Chicago cases is entirely different than your's. The cases I read about involved Lake Co. voters claiming residence in East Chicago precincts in order to vote in the mayoral election when they actually resided outside the municipal boundaries of East Chicago. Actually, most of the fraud was with absentee ballots. People were paid to cast votes by absentee and have them marked by other persons. There were absentee ballots cast at vacant lots or abandoned homes. Your characterization of White's actions being similar to what occurred in East Chicago is frankly defamatory.

Jeff Cox said...


In East Chicago, city employees voted from places in which they did not live and from which they had no right to vote in order to gain a political advantage -- the re-election of Robert Pastrick. These were low-level people, many of whom had been threatened into taking such actions to keep their jobs, and many of whom were defended by lawyers who were friends of Pastrick whose likely main interest was protecting Pastrick and his organization, not the interests of their purported clients.

In White's case, he (allegedly)voted from a place in which he did not live and from which he had no right to vote in order to gain a political advantage -- keeping his seat on the Fishers Town Council.

The only difference is that White is a high-level elected offical with political and financial resources, not a low-level city employee trying to feed a family and desperate to keep his job.

Vox Populi said...

Wait a minute. If White is filing this cause, seeing it as similar to his own, isn't this an admission of guilt in the case against him?

Paul said...

Jeff: one problem with your line of reasoning is that it gives rise to strange results.

Example: under your line of reasoning, even if Bayh doesn't set foot in Indiana for the next ten years, as long as he doesn't sell this abandoned condo, he will posess a better claim to Indiana residency than a homeless person who has been born and lived in Indianapolis for their entire life. Do you agree that would be a problem?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Jeff, You are really discrediting yourself by suggesting there is any comparison between the East Chicago cases and Charlie White's. Here's some advice: stick to eminent domain law. White's ex-wife testified that he had a place to sleep at the home, he did so on occasion, he still got mail there, his driver's license was registered at that address. The Recount Commission concluded the evidence supported his intent to maintain a residence there during the period in question for purposes of the vote he cast in the May, 2010 primary election. His failing was in waiting three months to resign from the Town Council seat after he moved into the condo. That was not a crime.

Jeff Cox said...


I would remind you that before I worked on eminent domain, I spent three years helping to prosecute those vote fraud cases in East Chicago and Schererville. The personal shot was unnecessary.

I would also point out, again, that White's main evidence of residence comes from his ex-wife, who is represented by Carl Brizzi, who is a friend of White's and who at last check represents White. It is thus not surprising that their stories support White. We saw similar scenarios frequently in East Chicago.

Look, if you want to hit the Democrats for hypocrisy on vote fraud issues, I'm there with you, Gary, and you know that. I saw firsthand the need for voter ID in East Chicago and Schererville. But at a basic level the facts in those vote fraud cases are similar to what White has allegedly done. Those defendants, too, cooked up cockamamie excuses for why they voted from where they did.

I think it boils down to you believe White's story and I do not.

Jeff Cox said...


It is easier for someone with an actual residence to claim residency than for someone who does not. No secret in that.

Like I said, though, the documentation can be rebutted. Witnesses (for the homeless guy and against the out-of-state guy) would make the difference in the scenario you presented.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Jeff, If you worked that much on those cases then you know it was all about usurping the voting laws to win a mayoral election. Charlie White's action had no impact on the outcome of any election. As someone who has worked in precincts on election day multiiple times, I will tell you that I could have indicted many people if you applied the standard the Dems are trying to apply to White to your typical voter. The thing is that the Dems know what I'm saying is totally true. I've heard several Democrats say that John Gregg has told many people that he thinks Charlie is being unfairly singled out. That view is shared by many Democrats who think it but won't say it on the record.

varangianguard said...

I disagree strongly, Gary.

Secy. White's alleged actions put himself in office, where otherwise it would have been somebody else. That is a huge difference.

His singular behavior completely subverted the electoral process in that election. Completely.

Allegedly, he cheated every voter in that council district. Every single one. Why? Because (apparently) he wasn't one of them.

Gary R. Welsh said...

A 3-member panel comprising the Recount Commission found differently, Varan. That included a Democrat, Bernie Pylitt, the Democrats all insisted was a very respected former judge until he ruled in favor of White. Now, they're derisively calling him Pontius Pilate because he didn't rule in the partisan way they expected him to rule.

varangianguard said...

Didn't the recount commission have narrowly defined parameters to review in this case?

Don't the charges still standing include greater scope?

Gary R. Welsh said...

What the special prosecutor did to White should scare the hell out of any citizen of this country. A prosecutor who would bring the charges Sigler brought against White is, in my judgment, unfit to exercise prosecutorial authority. To charge someone with theft for doing a public job they were elected to do (particularly when they returned their salary back to the taxpayers for the 3 months in question), or to charge someone with mortgage fraud for taking out a mortgage on a new home, moving into the home three months later and making every single mortgage payment is over-reaching to the max. To charge someone with a crime for accurately completing a marriage license application--something that has never happened in the history of the state--is nothing but the act of a totalitarian oppressor. And we call this America--land of the free? Give me a break. White is a political prisoner every day that he remains under the threat of those bogus indictments.

varangianguard said...

Well, I guess I'll just let the legal process run its course then. If the charges are so bogus, I would hope that they are dealt with post haste.

Still, I have to wonder why these charges continue to plague a Republican in a 90%+ Republican county.