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Judge upholds New Castle mayor's election

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A special judge in Henry County has dismissed a challenge to the New Castle mayor’s election, finding that mayor-elect Greg York is able to become the city’s top executive because he didn’t violate the state’s residency requirement by keeping two homes and splitting where he spent his time.

In a decision Monday, Special Judge Linda Ralu Wolf in Henry Circuit Court upheld York’s election on Nov. 8 and found he can take office at the start of the year. The ruling came about a week after Wolf, a Delaware County judge, heard arguments as to whether York met residency requirements to be mayor because he owned a home just outside the city limits and split his time between that residence and a longtime home on 11th Street inside New Castle.

York obtained 75 percent of the general election vote, securing 2,655 votes compared to the 628 received by John Mark Nipp and 226 received by Debra Baker. Nipp chose to contest the results, arguing that York isn't a city resident and doesn't meet requirements to be mayor.

 But the special judge found that Nipp and his attorney, Jeffrey Bell, fell “far short” of meeting the burden of proof to demonstrate York isn’t an eligible city resident. She rejected the idea that voters had “thrown away” their votes by casting a ballot for York on Election Day.

"A more plausible inference from York's overwhelming electoral success is that the voters, having heard the evidence of York's residency in New Castle and the arguments over it, decided that the evidence of York's intent and conduct and his long and deep connections to the community showed that he was a lawful resident of New Castle and eligible to serve as their mayor," Wolf wrote.

Nothing in state law prohibits a person from owning more than one home and having to abandon another residence when they seek public office, she wrote. Evidence shows that York continued paying property taxes, voted using that address, and kept personal belongings at that 11th St. home.

This is one of many election-related challenges that have surfaced statewide in the past year focusing on Indiana’s residency requirement. That has been an issue in the court challenges involving Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White, who faces criminal charges relating to his voter registration at an address where he allegedly didn’t reside. Hamilton Superior Judge Steven Nation on Monday declined to dismiss the criminal case against White, and it continues along with the civil suit challenging White’s ability to hold office as a result of his voter registration information.

 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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