Ex-Indiana elections chief Charlie White wants convictions tossed
The former attorney for Indiana's ousted elections chief says he didn't let Charlie White testify at his 2012 voter fraud trial because doing so "would have been a disaster."
White wants the felony convictions that cost him his job erased. He contends attorney Carl Brizzi provided incompetent counsel by failing to call any witnesses during the trial, and by not allowing White to take the stand in his own defense.
Brizzi testified Tuesday in a Hamilton County court that he couldn't control White and that an interview his then-client gave was disastrous. Brizzi cited White's rambling testimony during his sentencing hearing as a prime example. Brizzi spoke briefly before entering the court this morning.
"It's difficult because I did represent Charlie and spent a lot of time with him and his family. To be here at court today and to give reasons and justification as to why we did not do certain things is not something a defense lawyer ever wants to do to a client. I understand it has to be done but I take no joy in having to reveal why we made some of the decisions we made," said Brizzi.
White's new attorney argues Brizzi was erratic and deviated from his planned defense.
White was accused of using his ex-wife's address in Fishers as his voting address when he was serving on the Town Council of the Indianapolis suburb and running for secretary of state in 2010. The Republican was forced from office after his convictions on the charges last year.
Tuesday morning, several questions came up, including why Brizzi had not spent more time interviewing witnesses prior to the trial. Brizzi told the judge he's only lost one jury trial in his life, and said, "Judge, my witnesses are always prepared."
Brizzi also claims he didn't have enough money to conduct the proper number of depositions. White's attorney said if that was the case, then why did Brizzi rent a suite so close to the courthouse? Brizzi said it wasn't a suite; it was an office.