Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White this week filed in the Marion Superior Court a legal malpractice lawsuit against Carl Brizzi arising out of his representation of him in the criminal case brought against him in Hamilton County where a jury found White guilty on six of seven felony charges brought against him by a special prosecutor after Brizzi declined to put on a defense case during White's trial. The case has been assigned to Judge Patrick McCarty and is the second such lawsuit to be filed against Brizzi in recent months.
In May, former Hancock Co. Coroner Tamara VanGundy, who was forced from office after she voluntarily pleaded guilty to a Class D felony offense for official misconduct arising out of a drunk driving arrest, sued Brizzi after she claimed that he told her she would be to return to her duties and run for re-election as coroner despite her guilty plea despite the existence of a state law to the contrary. VanGundy's case is pending in Marion Circuit Court Judge Louis Rosenberg's court.
White has filed a petition for post-conviction relief in Hamilton County after getting a new judge assigned to his case. Judge Steven Nation, who presided over White's trial, recused himself from the case after White filed a petition seeking his removal from the case. White's hearing for post-conviction relief has been scheduled before Judge Daniel Pfleging for August 15, 2013. White blames his conviction, in part, on Brizzi's decision not to call a number of defense witnesses who were present and prepared to be called. Among those witnesses was an expert witness who would have testified that GPS data from White's cell phone proved that he spent most nights at the home of his ex-wife where he claimed to be residing for voting purposes.
The special prosecutor convinced the jury that White committed vote fraud and other related crimes by claiming his ex-wife's home as his residence for voting purposes. The Indiana Recount Commission unanimously found in White's favor after the Indiana Democratic Party brought a post-election complaint against him following the 2010 general election where White easily defeated their party's candidate for secretary of state in 2010, Vop Osili. The Recount Commission determined that White had legally registered to vote and was eligible to hold office. The trial court which convicted White applied a different voting residency standard than has been applied in numerous voting registration disputes decided by Indiana courts, as well as the Recount Commission hearing his case.
-in my opinion, Brizzi has been hitting "The Sauce" too much...
"Among those witnesses was an expert witness who would have testified that GPS data from White's cell phone proved that he spent most nights at the home of his ex-wife where he claimed to be residing for voting purposes." As a former defense lawyer, this strikes me as critical evidence of intent, very likely outcome determinative, and incompetent [or a bit of sabotage] to not seek its introduction.
Agreed, Steve. That evidence alone would have been sufficient to create reasonable doubt on all of the charges against him.
It was not very bright of Charlie or Tamara to trust in Carl as their attorney. If either thought that having Brizzi as their attorney of record would benefit them with the court, they should at least have gotten second, or third, legal opinions.
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