Indiana Secretary of State indicted
David MacAnally/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - The man responsible for overseeing Indiana's elections is facing charges of voter fraud.
A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White on seven felony counts including perjury and fraud. Gov. Mitch Daniels is calling on White to step down - at least until a verdict is reached.
White was released from Hamilton County Jail Thursday after being processed and paying a $10,000 cash bond. He had no comment for reporters as he left the jail.
After just two months as the state's top elections official, White faces felony counts including voter fraud charges and defrauding a financial institution.
The problems arose last year. White, a Fishers town councilman, resigned that seat when it was learned he was living a house outside his council voting district. White called it a mistake on his part.
Dan Sigler, the special prosecutor appointed to the case, says White "engaged in a course of conduct to deceive the voters, the Town of Fishers, the people who were going to elect him and by the story he has given, it's somewhat of a moving target as to where did he live and when did he live there."
"I'm not going to make a statement. That's why we have courts. To hear the evidence whatever it may be. We're not going to try this in the media," said Dennis Zahn, White's attorney.
Two weeks, home video caught Charlie White and his father in a dispute with two Noblesville lawyers. The lawyers felt White was standing too close to the grand jury room as it heard evidence against him. White denied doing anything wrong.
"We're continuing the work of the secretary of state's office. We're incorporating businesses, helping fraud victims and continuing our business as normal," said Jason Thomas, secretary of state spokesman.
The counts are as follows:
Fraudulent voter registration - Class "D" Felony
2 counts of Perjury - Class "D" Felony
Voting outside of precinct residence - Class "D" Felony
Procuring a fraudulent ballot - Class "D" Felony
Theft - Class "D" Felony
Fraud on a financial institution - Class "C" Felony
Gov. Mitch Daniels issued the following statement:
"This news is sad and regrettable, but the only course of honor is for Mr. White to step down from his duties, at least during the duration of these proceedings until a verdict is reached. It would be neither credible nor appropriate for the state's top elections official to continue to perform his duties while contesting criminal charges, some of them under the very laws the Secretary of State implements. I have consulted with each of the other statewide elected officials and our judgment about this is unanimous."
"The judicial system has validated what we have believed all along: Charlie White should never have been on the ballot as a candidate for public office," said Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker.
Parker also called on White to step down from his post.
"Today's announcement is sad news for Indiana. As the former Secretary of State and a current Representative of the people of Indiana, I agree with Governor Daniels that Secretary White cannot credibly or adequately do his duties while contesting criminal charges. Mr. White should step down until the charges are adjudicated," said US Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN04), the former Indiana secretary of state.