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.