The Indiana Supreme Court said Friday the state recount commission should go ahead and reconsider whether Republican Secretary of State Charlie White was a valid candidate for the office to which he was elected.
Democrats challenged White’s candidacy after the November election, saying he wasn’t eligible to seek the office. A Hamilton County grand jury indicted White in March on seven counts, including voter fraud and perjury, for using his ex-wife’s address on a voter registration form.
White has blamed the error on his busy schedule and new marriage and called it an honest mistake.
The recount panel asked the Indiana Supreme Court to step in after Marion Circuit Judge Louis Rosenberg ordered it to reconsider its December decision dismissing the Democrat challenge. The state Supreme Court said it was accepting jurisdiction in the case because of its public urgency.
But the justices spurned underlying pleas for more time, rejecting White’s motion to stay the civil case until after criminal voter fraud charges against him are resolved. If convicted of a felony, he would have to resign.
… “I think the message here is the recount commission should proceed toward making a final decision in this matter,” said Bill Groth, an attorney representing the Indiana Democratic Party.
White’s attorney, James Bopp, said he would ask the high court to reconsider. He said Friday’s order reflected a “fundamental misunderstanding of the situation” because the case actually originated with the recount commission, not Marion Circuit Court.