Charlie White Report: "Apparent But Rebuttable" Evidence of Voter Fraud
October report compiled by White's predecessor urged further review
An October report compiled under Secretary of State Charlie White's predecessor concludes there's enough evidence White's voter registration was illegal to "warrant public concern."
But the more than 200-page report by then-deputy Secretary of State Chris Naylor notes the evidence available from the public record is "not comprehensive" and could be rebutted. It urges the two special prosecutors who investigated White's registration to seek sworn testimony to clarify several points, especially whether White's use of his ex-wife's address was intentional or what White has called a "silly mistake."
White's office released the report Thursday after receiving clearance to do so from state Inspector General David Thomas. Former Secretary of State Todd Rokita had rejected Democratic Party demands to release it, on confidentiality grounds.
Special prosecutors John Dowd and Dan Sigler indicted White on seven counts in March. They had agreed with Rokita the report was an investigative record, and had asked Thomas to probe whether White violated ethics rules by reviewing it after taking office.
Thomas says the law leaves it to the officeholder's discretion whether to treat the report as confidential. He says not only did White violate no law or rule by reviewing it, but that Rokita would have been breaking the law had he not turned it over upon leaving office in January.
White's office referred all comment to spokesman A-J Feeney-Ruiz, who says the office has wanted to release the report all along to let the public draw its own conclusions. He characterizes the report as "inconclusive," and notes Rokita and Naylor did not question White or any other witnesses.
The report walks through which criminal laws could be applicable to White's case, and how the evidence stacks up. Feeney-Ruiz describes it as "Indiana Election Law for Dummies."
Naylor notes the same set of facts, if proved, could justify either felony or misdemeanor charges. A felony conviction would force White to resign, but a misdemeanor conviction would allow him to continue in office.
A Hamilton County grand jury returned seven felony counts, including two not addressed in the report: a mortgage-fraud count accusing White of using the same incorrect address on a mortgage application, and a theft count tied to the salary White received as a Fishers Town Council member after moving out of his district.
The report is posted on White's website at http://www.in.gov/sos/3887.htm.