Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was convicted of six felonies early this morning, and consequently lost his job. But the Republican could get it back soon. White, 42, Fishers, plans to ask a judge to reduce his convictions – all class D felonies – to misdemeanors at sentencing. It’s uncertain whether that move would allow him to reclaim his job. “We don’t know the right answer to that,” White said. “This is all very new.” Shortly after White’s verdict was read, Gov. Mitch Daniels announced in a news release shortly before 3 a.m. that he has appointed Jerry Bonnet, White’s chief deputy, as interim secretary of state.
“I have chosen not to make a permanent appointment today out of respect for the judge’s authority to lessen the verdict to a misdemeanor and reinstate the elected office holder,” the Republican governor said in the news release. “If the felony convictions are not altered, I anticipate making a permanent appointment quickly.”
White showed little emotion when a Hamilton County judge read the jury’s verdict shortly after 2 a.m. today, and his voice was steady as he spoke to reporters about the trial. “I’m obviously disappointed with the decision,” White said. “I’m disappointed for my family, for the people who supported me.” White was not taken into custody after the verdict and a sentencing date has not been set. After about 12 hours of deliberation, a jury convicted White of three counts of voter fraud, two counts of perjury and one count of theft. He could face six months to three years in prison on each of the counts. White was acquitted of his most serious charge, fraud on a financial institution, a class C felony.