The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear the civil case involving former secretary of state Charlie White.
The state's highest court issued an order Tuesday taking charge of the legal battle over whether Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels should be allowed to appoint a replacement for White or whether Democratic candidate Vop Osili should take over the office.
A Marion County judge has ruled White, who was convicted of six voter-fraud-related felonies last week, was ineligible to run because his voter registration was not valid.
He also ordered Democrat Vop Osili installed as secretary of state, but he stayed that ruling to allow an appeal.
The Indiana Democratic Party had asked the state appeals court Monday to order Osili be declared the state's elections chief. Daniels already has named the office's top counsel, Jerry Bonnet, as interim secretary of state.
"We are delighted that the Supreme Court has accepted this case and will hear our argument on an expedited schedule," Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker said in a statement. "This ensures that the issue will be quickly resolved, removes instability from the process and should prevent the governor from making any further appointments pending the outcome. Hoosiers have waited more than a year to see this case resolved, and we believe the law is on our side as we head into what hopefully will be the final chapter of this story."
White's attorney said he will seek to have the felony charges reduced to misdemeanors, which would allow White to return to office. That would come at a Feb. 23 sentencing hearing in Noblesville.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Feb. 29.
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