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White claims Brizzi ‘ignorant’ of law, jurors wowed by Super Bowl

March 22, 2013

Former Secretary of State Charlie White says his convictions on six charges ranging from vote fraud to theft should be tossed because they violated state and federal law. He also claims that his lawyer, former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi “was ignorant of the law.”

White’s petition for post-conviction relief also includes a litany of public officials he claims played fast and loose with voter registration information. White, a Republican from Fishers, was convicted last year. He was sentenced to one year of in-home detention and later removed from office and suspended from the bar. His convictions stemmed from accusations that he lied about his address on voter registration forms and didn’t live in the home he listed for voting purposes.

Hamilton Superior Judge Steve Nation as a condition of sentencing ruled White won’t begin serving his sentence until the post-conviction relief process is concluded. On March 15, White filed a 79-page post-conviction relief petition in Charles P. White v. State of Indiana, 29D01-1303-PC-2053.

White’s attorney, Andrea L. Ciobanu, argues that Brizzi failed to present a defense or move for a directed verdict, and that “Brizzi incriminated White with a jury nullification theme.” Ciobanu said White also is entitled to relief from his sentence because, among other things, he was convicted of the same offense more than once.

“The most egregious error is that Brizzi failed to present material evidence at trial, in fact, Brizzi failed to present any defense. The evidence was readily available for Brizzi to present,” Ciobanu wrote.

Ciobanu did not immediately return requests for comment on Friday.

The petition alleges a political witch hunt and a jury that was under duress because it was forced to deliberate past 11 p.m. on a weekend when Indianapolis was hosting the Super Bowl and no hotel rooms were available for sequestration. “There were free parties, concerts, and not to mention time to spend with friends and family. I am sure this court did not recognize the impact that such actions had on the jury,” Ciobanu wrote.

The petition also includes pages of other politicians who listed questionable voter registration information, including Gov. Mike Pence, former Gov. Mitch Daniels, former Sens. Birch Bayh and Evan Bayh, current Sen. Dan Coats, and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

A Hamilton County jury in February 2012 found White guilty of false registration, voting in another precinct, falsifying a voter registration form, submitting a false registration application, listing a false address on a marriage application and theft for receiving a salary as a de facto member of the Fishers Town Council.

Nation has set an Aug. 15 hearing on White’s post-conviction relief petition.

 

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