Thursday, February 23, 2012


In a sometimes-emotional 2-hour hearing today in Hamilton County Superior Court 1, Judge Nation today refused to reduce the convictions of former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White from felonies to misdemeanors.  Judge Nation, a former prosecutor, sentenced White to one year incarceration, to be served as home detention with electronic monitoring; a $1000 fine, and court costs.  White intends to appeal, and asked the Court to appoint counsel.

Judge Nation, in expressing his reasons for the sentence, expressly refuted that this was a political prosecution.  Judge Nation, who like White is Republican, found that the actions of 6 Hamilton County residents on the Grand Jury which indicted White, and 12 Hamilton County citizens who served on the trial jury, refuted any claim that this was a "political persecution" as another blogger put it.

Judge Nation went on to state that the evidence clearly showed that White acted intentionally and with design.  When it suited White, he claimed in private documents that the new condo was his residence, but in public documents related to his Fishers Town Council position and related to his voting place and candidacy, he claimed his ex-wife's house.   Judge Nation made it very clear that he was convinced that this was done purposely and that White thought he would never be brought to account.  It seemed as if White's refusal to accept the consequences of his actions factored into the Judge's decision, and was the subject of an angry exchange between White's attorney, former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, and the special prosecutors.  Brizzi lost that exchange, and the special prosecutors were allowed to continue in that vein.

As a result of this conviction, White now cannot reclaim the office of Secretary of State unless his 6 felony convictions are overturned on appeal.  He likely will now face disciplinary action against his law license by the Supreme Court's Disciplinary Commission, which likely will result in suspension or disbarment.

The civil case about whether or not White was even legally a candidate will go to the Indiana Supreme Court next week for oral argument.  That case will decide if Democratic candidate Vop Osili will get the office, as appears to be required by state law, or if the Governor's appointee will get the job.

All of this was caused by the arrogance of an ambitious politician who thought he could do as he pleased, and no one would hold him to account.  That arrogance has now destroyed Charlie White's political career, and possibly his legal career.  As the jury foreman stated in an interview after the verdict, he has no one to blame but himself.

Charlie, how COULD you have been so stupid?  Amazing.

Monday, February 20, 2012


For those who may be interested in attending, the sentencing in the criminal case of former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White will be this Thursday, February 23, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. in Superior Court 1 in Noblesville. 

For those not familiar with courthouses, be prepared to go through security, this means no guns, knives or other weapons, and be prepared to remove your belt and other metal items.  Also, no photos allowed in the courtroom, and turn off the ringer on your cell phone, as  phone ringing will annoy the judge. 

It is not known at this time if the recent illness of White's attorney, former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, will delay the hearing.  No motion to continue the hearing has been filed by Brizzi, or at least none is on the docket right now. 

A lot of speculation has gone into whether or not White will get jail time, and whether or not some or all of the 6 felonies the jury found White guilty of will be reduced to misdemeanors.  That speculation will end Thursday afternoon when Judge Nation (who is also a former Hamilton County Prosecutor) announces White's sentence. 

Brizzi has announced that he will appeal the jury verdict regardless of the sentence. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012


As most of my readers know, I had a small part in the saga of Charlie White, as I was the person who investigated reports that he had moved out of his Fishers Town Council district, and I held a press conference and reported what I found to the Hamilton County Prosecutor.  Events since then have taken their course, according to the rule of law, and now White has been found guilty on 6 out of 7 felony charges.

Some people prior to the verdict had this as some sort of partisan vendetta, a subject I addressed in an earlier post, The Continuing Saga of Charlie White.  That baseless complaint has mostly died down now that a jury of 12 Hamilton County citizens has rendered their verdict.

The rendering of the guilty verdict automatically disqualified Charlie White from holding the office of Secretary of State, a matter which was the subject of an ongoing court case anyway.  A Marion County judge had found that White was not legally registered to vote, since he wrongly registered at his ex-wife's house, and therefore he was not validly elected, and further, according to state law, the office belonged to the second-place finisher, Vop Osili.  The Indiana Attorney General appealed that case, so the court ruling is stayed and not in effect.

But, pursuant to a different law, when White's conviction automatically removed him from office, Governor Daniels appointed White's deputy to be "interim" Secretary of State.  But, and this might be important, the letter appointing Jerry Bonnet does not use the "interim" tag.  Here is the appointment letter.  So is this an "interim" appointment, or permanent?

This is completely unknown territory.  I don't recall any prior case in my lifetime where a state officer was convicted of a felony and disqualified from office, let alone have his eligibility to run for the office in the first place be challenged.  We now have competing laws, and court cases, providing for completely different people to hold the office.

Even MORE complicated, since the charges which White was convicted of are Class D felonies, the Judge could possibly reduce these charges to a misdemeanor.  And again, we have two different provisions of statute, this time of the same law, that conflict on whether White could regain office.  One says he doesn't regain office even if reduced to a misdemeanor, and the other says he CAN if they were not related to his office, which they were not, as they arose prior to the election.

Doubtless the Courts will have to resolve this mess and more, including what happens to the Republican Party's status as a major political party in Indiana, a complication which reaches far beyond the fate of Charlie White.

This all could have been avoided if Charlie White had not arrogantly considered himself above the law.  The jury has found that he knew what he was doing, and did it deliberately.  He created this mess, not just for himself, his family and his political party, but for the People of Indiana.

As I said at the beginning of this, in my press conference in September 2010...


Thursday, February 2, 2012


Per tweets from Carrie Ritchie (Indianapolis Star) at the Charlie White trial, the prosecution has rested, but in something of a shocker, White will not testify, nor offer any witnesses or evidence in his behalf.  This would appear to set up a challenge to the legal sufficiency of the charges and evidence.

This was after cell phone records were introduced showing 8 times more calls and texts from the condo where he had allegedly moved outside of his Fishers Town Council district, than from his ex-wife's house, where he claimed to be living and changed his voter registration to. 

Closing arguments will be given to the jury at 8:30 am tomorrow (Friday), and then the case will be submitted to the jury.