Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White alleges in a lawsuit that he was the victim of legal malpractice by his defense attorney leading up to the voter fraud conviction that forced him from office. White’s lawsuit against former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi contends that Brizzi wasn’t adequately versed in the complexities of election, property and residency laws at White’s February 2012 trial. Brizzi “rendered legal services that fell below the reasonable standard of criminal defense attorneys because he was ignorant of the law, criminal trial procedure and ignorant of the facts in critical phases of (White’s) case during the jury trial,” White contends in the filed last week in Marion County court. A Hamilton County jury convicted White on voter fraud and other charges after Brizzi did not call any witnesses and immediately rested the defense after the prosecution wrapped up its case. White was sentenced to one year of home detention and was automatically removed from office.
Brizzi didn’t immediately respond to a phone message left at his office Tuesday by The Associated Press.
White, a Republican, made similar claims against Brizzi in March, when his new attorney asked a Hamilton County judge to overturn the convictions. An Aug. 15 hearing is scheduled on that request.
Brizzi said then that White’s “view is apparently different from mine but in the end the only opinion that matters is the judge’s.”
The charges against White stemmed from using his ex-wife’s address in Fishers as his voting address when he was serving on the Town Council of the Indianapolis suburb and running for secretary of state in 2010.