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Judge rules Charlie White ineligible for candidacy

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A Marion County judge has ruled that Secretary of State Charlie White was ineligible to be a candidate and the office should go to Democrat Vop Osili, his challenger in the 2010 election.

The ruling, issued Wednesday by Marion Circuit Court Judge Louis Rosenberg, came in response to a civil lawsuit filed by Democrats that sought to have White declared ineligible for office because he allegedly committed voter fraud.

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted White on voter fraud and other charges in March. White, a Republican, has maintained his innocence and a trial is scheduled for September.

Indiana Democrats called for an investigation into White in September 2010 after discovering he voted in the Republican primary the prior spring while registered to vote at his ex-wife's house in Fishers.

“The fact that Mr. White knowingly registered in the wrong precinct is sufficient to render him ineligible for the office of Secretary of State,” Rosenberg wrote in the ruling. “Whether or not he believed that his registration complied with the law is not relevant.”

The Indiana Recount Commission, made up of two Republicans and one Democrat, voted unanimously in June to let White to keep his job. The Indiana Democratic Party appealed that decision and requested a Marion County judge rule on it. Rosenberg's ruling overturns the Commission's decision.

The Commission, which is a part of the secretary of state’s office, will appeal the ruling and seek an immediate stay, which would delay implementation of the order, said A.J. Feeney-Ruiz, a spokesman in the office. He said recount commission officials were set to discuss the issue with the attorney general, which has so far not been involved in the case.

Rosenburg sent the decision back to the recount commission for action. But Feeney-Ruiz said that even if a stay is not granted, a meeting could not take place before later next week. That’s because the commission must give 48 hours notice of any meeting and the state is officially closed for the holidays through Monday.

Also, the commission is not a standing group and its members are appointed only when it’s called to action. The state Republican and Democratic parties as well as the secretary of state make appointments to the three-member commission.

White defeated Osili at the polls by about 345,000 votes. Osili was elected to the City-County Council in November and is expected to take office Jan. 1.

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  • Amen to that...
    I completely agree with you!
  • Disgusted Republican
    As a republican all my life, I am especially embarrassed by Mr White's conduct and lack of moral consideration for the sanctity of the office of Secretary of State. He of all people knows what he did was wrong and if he had any morals, would have resigned when the issue became public knowledge. Now, everything he has touched since taking office is subject to inquiry. What a mess he has created and how embarrassing to the people of Indiana. We deserve better.
    • Finally
      If Schrenker, Durham and Hauke were not enough to thoroughly embarrass the Hoosier State, we can count on Mr. White to put the nail in that coffin regarding our state's reputation with the rest of the country. Being known as "fly over country" wasn't enough; now Indiana seems to be awash with prominent men who say "it's not my fault." Let's hope this is the turning point for things to get better and that Mr. White cleans out his office prior to Christmas.

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    1. Again, Maria.... how much are YOU contributing? The man doesn't HAVE to give a red cent! What don't you get about that? And, I know this might actually require some actual "facts", but can you please point me to the parking garage that the city gave to him?

    2. Another internet tuff guy I see. And what would the basis of taking the person to jail? If they were drunk, yea. But if not, there would be no jailable offense. All these gestapo, Nazi, jackboots are running SCARED. When the SHTF in this country who's side are you going to be on? The citzens, or the establishment? Better make up your mind quick because it's not far off. I would rather be trying to make friends than enemies. But no worries my "friend", God will take care of you and your likes in good time. It tells us that in the bible. If you stand, support and help carry out the plans of evil rulers, you will NOT be spared the wrath of God. That simple. All you can do is repent now and ask God to forgive you.

    3. Yes, Ersal, thank you for donating a whole $75,000, while the city gives you a parking garage for free and is going to pay for a multi million dollar stadium for you. I'd be donating money too if I was on welfare.

    4. I live and work in Broad Ripple and agree 100% that the traffic is not a significant problem. It can be slow at some times, but hey...this is an urban area. As for the development itself...HOORAY. Office and retail development brings people during the day, something that our community needs much more of. Thank goodness people are finally waking up to take advantage of the serene White River views. The BRVA land us committee endorsed the project because they know how these kind of projects help offset the cries of "too many bars". Pray that this development, and the proposed major investment by Browning, move forward. And remember Good Earth, these will mean hundreds of daytime people - potential shoppers for your store.

    5. Under current, previous existing law, this new law would be unconstitutional. Not that supposedly having to have a driver's license to drive isn't in the first place.

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