Convicted former Secretary of State Charlie White’s sentence of one year of home detention will not be executed pending his post-conviction relief appeal, a judge ruled last week.
White’s attorney Andrea Ciobanu said a motion to stay execution of the sentence was granted Jan. 8 by Hamilton Superior Judge Daniel Pfleging. White filed a notice of appeal on Dec. 30, after the court rejected his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.
Pflegling issued an order denying White’s post-conviction claim on Dec. 23, at which time he also ordered White to begin serving his sentence this month. White sought relief from his conviction of six Class D felony criminal counts including voter fraud, voting in another precinct, theft, and providing a false address on his voter identification card.
Pfleging on Jan. 8 stayed the execution of White’s sentence until the PCR petition is reviewed by the Court of Appeals, according to Ciobanu. “We are satisfied we supplemented the record so he’s able to pursue a direct appeal at this time,” she said.
White’s convictions have been upheld by the appellate courts, but he is seeking post-conviction relief on his argument that he received ineffective assistance from his trial counsel, former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.
Pfleging rejected White’s PCR argument that he was damaged when Brizzi didn’t call White’s wife or ex-wife to testify. The judge wrote that each witness’s testimony was “fraught with pitfalls that ultimately could have proven disastrous” for White.
White also has sued Brizzi for legal malpractice before Marion Superior Judge David Shaheed. Brizzi’s motion to dismiss that suit is pending, and no further court dates had been docketed as of Tuesday.