Appeal hearing set for ex-Indiana elections chief

The Indiana appeals court is set to take up former Secretary of State Charlie White's fight to overturn the voter fraud conviction that forced him from office.

A panel of judges is scheduled to hear oral arguments in White's appeal Tuesday afternoon.

The Republican was automatically removed from office in February 2012 after a Hamilton County jury convicted him of six felonies. Those included using his ex-wife's home in Fishers as his voting address in 2010 while serving on the Indianapolis suburb's town council and campaigning for secretary of state.

White maintains his defense lawyer provided incompetent counsel and that other politicians such as former Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Sen. Richard Lugar also haven't lived at the addresses from which they were registered to vote.

A reversal of White's conviction could allow him to reclaim the secretary of state's office, but the term to which he was elected ends Dec. 31. Daniels appointed Republican Connie Lawson to replace White, and she won election last week to a four-year term as Indiana's chief elections officer.

Besides appealing his convictions, White also has lawsuits pending against his trial attorney — former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi — and a federal suit that claims his removal was political "payback" for his actions as chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party.

White unsuccessfully attempted to have his conviction overturned in Hamilton County late last year.

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