Former Secretary of State Charlie White has sued former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, alleging legal malpractice and other professional malfeasance in the handling of a criminal case that resulted in White being convicted of voter fraud, perjury and theft. The felony convictions forced White to resign in February 2012 from the state post he won election to in 2010. White is seeking a new trial. He said Brizzi, a former friend and political associate, didn’t provide an adequate defense at his 2012 trial. That request is pending in Hamilton Superior Court. White also is pressing that point in the lawsuit filed last week in Marion Superior Court. In the 31-page complaint, White makes numerous complaints about Brizzi’s work as his defense attorney, alleging legal malpractice, breach of contract, negligent or reckless infliction of emotional distress, fraud and unjust enrichment.
White is the second former public official who turned to Brizzi for a criminal defense to sue the former prosecutor. Earlier this year, former Hancock County Coroner Tamara Vangundy filed a lawsuit alleging Brizzi provided incompetent legal counsel when representing her in 2012.
Brizzi said Tuesday afternoon that he was expecting the lawsuit. He explained White and his attorney had presented him with an affidavit they wanted him to sign. The affidavit said Brizzi’s legal work was deficient because his mother was dying of cancer at the time. When he refused to sign the document, Brizzi said the “implied threat was that things would get worse.”
Brizzi insisted that he did provide White adequate legal services, but added he has no hard feelings toward White. “He’s doing the things he need to do,” Brizzi said.