The long-awaited hearing to decide the fate of the Secretary of State’s office kicked off Tuesday with testimony from Charlie White himself. White answered all questions asked at the Indiana Recount Commission hearing about confusion over his residency, despite the fact that his testimony can be used against him in criminal court.
He is accused of intentionally voting in a precinct where he no longer lived, and he is fighting two battles simultaneously. On the criminal side, he faces seven felony counts including voter fraud and perjury. If convicted of a felony, he must resign and the governor would appoint a successor. On the civil side, Democrats have forced a recount hearing in which a three-member panel controlled by Republicans will rule on whether White was ineligible to be on the ballot because he wasn’t legally registered to vote.
If they agree, Democrat Vop Osili – who came in second in the contest – would take over the office.
During morning testimony, Democrats introduced a number of documents signed by White in January and February of 2010 that showed he lived at an Overview Drive condo and not his ex-wife’s home on Broadleaf where he voted in May 2010.
They included lease agreements, electric bills, insurance forms, mortgage applications and employment forms.
Democratic attorney Karen Celestino-Horseman also went after motive – saying White would have been required to give up his Fishers Town Council seat if he publicly acknowledged moving out of his district to the Overview address.
White’s attorney, Jim Bopp, objected but the panel allowed the questions.