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Ex-Indiana official questions Brizzi's health

Associated Press
October 21, 2013
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Indiana's former elections chief raised questions about his attorney's health during his 2012 voter fraud trial and said he thought it was "a joke" that his defense strategy was to call no witnesses.

Charlie White testified Monday in a Hamilton County court that attorney Carl Brizzi appeared exhausted and "worn down," and was taking medication during the trial.

"Every night he complained he couldn't sleep," White said.

White was ousted as secretary of state in February 2012 after being convicted of voter fraud and other felonies. The charges stemmed from his use of his ex-wife's home in Fishers as his voting address in 2010 while serving on the Fishers Town Council and running for secretary of state.

Prosecutors said White lived in a townhouse outside his council district with his then-fiancee but continued to receive his council salary and vote in his old precinct.

White filed a 79-page petition in March asking the court to vacate the six felony convictions, saying Brizzi provided incompetent counsel by failing to call any witnesses. He filed a separate civil lawsuit in July accusing Brizzi of legal malpractice and other professional misconduct.

Brizzi testified last week that White was unpredictable and that having him testify would have been a disaster.

White and his wife, Michelle White, on Monday disputed Brizzi's contention that their testimony would have contradicted each other if they'd testified. Brizzi said last week that when he was preparing Michelle White to testify, she stated that White hadn't lived at his ex-wife's address.

White's new attorney, Andrea Ciobanu, has argued that Brizzi was erratic and deviated from his planned defense.,

White and Ciobanu spent part of Monday trying to introduce bills from a gym White belonged to. The bills weren't used as evidence in his trial, but they argued they offered proof that White was showering there while living at his ex-wife's house.

Special Prosecutor Dan Sigler opposed the move.

"He's just trying to throw in the record everything he can about his opinion of things," Sigler said.

He noted that White had fired his previous lawyer, Dennis Zahn, and questioned why he didn't do the same with Brizzi.

"You fired one lawyer, you could fire another, couldn't you?" Sigler asked.

White said he didn't have concerns with Brizzi, a former Marion County prosecutor, until shortly before the trial started.

"I thought he was doing a pretty good job up until the trial," White said.

Both sides have 15 days to submit additional evidence to Judge Daniel Pfleging.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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