Charlie White – Guilty
As most of us slept, Charlie White was in court where the jury delivered their verdict. At a little after 2:00 AM the Secretary of State was found guilty on six of the seven charges against him. The six charges in which he was found guilty, all of which are Class D felonies, were three counts of voter fraud, two counts of perjury, and one count of theft. He was acquitted on a charge of fraud on a financial institution. White faces a sentence of six months to three years in prison per charge. White plans to ask the judge to reduce the convictions to misdemeanors at sentencing. By having the convictions reduced to misdemeanors he could possibly retain his position as Secretary of State. If the felonies are upheld, he will be out of office.
Governor Daniels made an interim appointment to replace White. Jerry Bonnet, White’s chief deputy, will now be the acting Secretary of State. Daniels did not make the appointment permanent in case White’s convictions are reduced, and he is allowed to retain office. If the felony convictions are upheld, then Daniels stated he will make a permanent appointment quickly.
The details of this case of been highlighted repeatedly for several months. To borrow a line from Facebook, to say “it’s complicated” would be an understatement with this case. The question at the core of this debate is, Where did Charlie White live and when? He stated he lived at his ex-wife’s house in Fishers when he voted in 2010, but the jury declared his actual address was a townhouse that he owned on the other side of town. This was the basis for the guilty verdict on six charges.
This whole ordeal has been a mess. While I can commend White for defending himself when he believed he was innocent, the facts are he violated the law. The right thing to do would have been for White to resign when the allegations first surfaced. Unfortunately, we can’t go back in time. White will now face sentencing where he could face jail time if the convictions are upheld as felonies. If they are lowered to misdemeanors he would likely escape jail time and possibly retain office.