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Ex-elections chief seeks relief for convictions

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal by ousted Secretary of State Charlie White so he can seek relief from the judge who presided over his vote fraud trial.

An order signed by Chief Appeals Court Judge Margret Robb and posted online Monday dismissed White's appeal so he can pursue post-conviction relief before Hamilton Superior Court Judge Steven Nation.

In a petition for post-conviction relief, a defendant asks the trial judge to correct errors that occurred during the trial, such as a violation of his constitutional rights. The judge, for example, might grant a new trial or impose a different sentence.

Nation presided over the trial in which White was convicted Feb. 4 of six felony counts, including using his ex-wife's address to vote and to keep his council seat in Fishers, north of Indianapolis. Indiana law bars convicted felons from holding office.

Attorney Bryan Ciyou filed a brief last week in appeals court, challenging White's convictions on charges of perjury on his marriage license application, submitting a false voter registration application and casting a fraudulent ballot.

The brief did not contest White's three other felony convictions for perjury, theft and voting in the wrong precinct.

Robb's order dismissed the appeal so that White can pursue post-conviction relief. If White isn't satisfied with Nation's ruling, he still can file an appeal — but only on the issues Ciyou raised in the dismissed appeal or any issues that might arise from the petition for post-conviction relief.

Ciyou declined comment Monday on the developments.

John Dowd, one of the special prosecutors in the case, said the state would be ready to contest the petition.

"We'll go to court and address his claims on the post-conviction (relief) whenever the court sets the hearing," Dowd said.

White, a Republican, said at the time of his conviction that the case ignored a complicated personal life in which he was trying to raise his 10-year-old son, plan a new marriage and campaign for statewide office in 2010. He said he stayed at his ex-wife's house when he wasn't campaigning and did not reside in the Fishers condo with his current wife, Michelle, until after he remarried.

However, Dowd and other prosecutors argued White listed his ex-wife's address on his voter registration form because he didn't want to give up his town council salary.

White's sentence of a year on home detention has been stayed while he appeals his convictions.

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  • shakes head
    Well I see he is at it again. White face it you got caught and now you have to pay for it. So in other words you are saying that he is trying to get the felon convict overturn so he can get his job back right
  • AP Has It Wrong
    This story is completely in error. White's attorney filed a Davis Petition, which the Court granted on September 7. The direct appeal has been dismissed while he pursues post-conviction relief, which starts back at the trial court level.

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

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