Charlie White Responds To Guilty Verdict

Former Secretary Of State Convicted Of Felony Voter Fraud

After more than 12 hours of deliberation, jurors in Hamilton County decided the fate early Saturday of former Secretary of State Charlie White and found him guilty of six of seven felony voter fraud-related charges.

White voted from his ex-wife's address and he claimed he lived there most of the time, instead of at his then fiancée’s home, which is outside his district.

The conviction disqualifies White from holding the office. RTV6's Derrik Thomas was the first reporter to address White minutes after the jury found him guilty of lying about where he lived during the 2010 election for secretary of state.

"I'm obviously disappointed with the decision. I'm disappointed for my family and for the people who supported me,” White said.

White did not take the stand in his own defense and his attorney Carl Brizzi didn’t regret that decision.

"The jury found Charlie not guilty on the (Class) C Felony, which was obviously the most serious charge, but he was found guilty on the (Class) D felony, which is the lowest felony that there is,” Brizzi said.

Special Prosecutor John Dowd agreed with the guilty verdict.

"If you think it was political, you're entitled to that opinion. We believe it was about somebody who violated the law, who had knowledge of the system and gamed the system. Obviously, the jury believed the same thing and they found him guilty of those voting law violations and the perjury charges and the theft charge,” Dowd said.

Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Chief Deputy Jerry Bonnet as Interim Secretary of State, but a civil judge has ordered the state to declare White’s opponent, Democrat Vop Osili, the winner.

Daniels said he is not making a permanent appointment because the courts could decide to lessen the verdict to a misdemeanor, which would mean White could return to office.

"If the felony convictions are not altered, I anticipate making a permanent appointment quickly," Daniels said.

That final decision will be left up to the state supreme court.

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