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Marion County Judge Rules White Ineligible to be Indiana Secretary of State

Marion County Judge Louis Rosenberg ruled late Thursday that Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was ineligible to hold the office and ordered he must vacate it and the seat goes to Democratic challenger Vop Osili.   White had come under fire for voting from a precinct where he did not live. White had argued it was an honest mistake because he was moving and starting a new life.  The Indiana Election Recount Commission had agreed, unanimously,  with White and ruled he was eligible to serve.

In his opinion Judge Rosenberg said despite the error, “The fact that Mr. White knowingly registered in the wrong precinct is sufficient to render him ineligible for the office of Secretary of State.”

A spokesman for the Recount Commission said the board plans to appeal the decision as well as ask for an emergency stay of the order.  Regardless, nothing is going to happen immediately as the State of  Indiana is closed until Tuesday because of the Christmas holiday.  In addition, there would have to be 48 hours notice of any Commission hearing, so the earliest the Commission could meet would be Thursday.

A spokesman for the White said the finding by Judge Rosenberg was “unprecedented”.  He also said that White plans to continue to serve until this entire matter has played itself out.”

A copy of Judge Rosenberg’s order can be found here. Vop Osili has reportedly already signed an oath of office for his District 15 Council seat.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says he will appeal the decision.  He issued a statement saying the following.

“One obligation of our office is to represent state government boards such as the Indiana Recount Commission in lawsuits, and when a board’s unanimous administrative decision is overturned by a court, the order should be reviewed by a higher court. We will seek a stay of the court’s ruling and are in communication with our client the Recount Commission to discuss the process of an appeal.”

  • Ramon

    Perhaps the reign of serial law break White is coming to an end.   The state GOP shoiuld be embarrassed that they allowed it to last this long.

  • Wurstnitemare

    So let me get this straight. My tax $$ are going to defend this low life? The man is facing time in the Federal Pen and my hard earned money is going to defend him? Thats the biggest tragedy in this mess

  • Think Again

    I understand Zeller’s rationale.  

    Charlie–do us all a favor. Quit.

  • Think Again

    They aren’t–publicly.  Arrogant.

  • Think Again

    The judge summed it all up in one humble thought: you aren’t a resident if you don’t have a lease or a mortgage.  Mr. White could’ve saved himself a lot of trouble by simply signing a lease on the condo.  What a moron.

    No residence, no voter registrtation.  A vagabond with a law degree.  

    And so it goes.

  • Patriot Paul
  • Pogden297

    TA, actually the judge never said that at all  That would be a ridiculous position as there are a whole host of situations where a person living at an address wouldn’t necessarily have a lease or a residence. As far as the condo, he did have a mortgage and his name was on the deed.  He just hadn’t move in yet.   The thrust of the decision (which I read)  was that White was living at the ex-wife’s house temporarily and therefore couldn’t have his residence there.  That alone is an very broad  interpretation of what “temporary” means as far as residence.  Nonetheless, if that was his temporary home, where was White’s residence?   Even Judge Rosenberg suggested he could not have been registered at the condo since he had not moved in yet.  But he couldn’t have been registered at his old apartment because the lease expired and he had moved out. Therein lies the flaw in Rosenberg’s decision and why he will definitely be reversed.  If where you are living is deemed “temporary” then you have to have another placed deemed your “permanent” home and thus your “residence.”  Judge Rosenberg didn’t think it important to address that. He’s wrong.  It was critical that he do so given his “temporary” rationale.

  • Pogden297

    In the second sentence I meant a lease or a “mortgage” not residence.

  • Pogden297

    It’s funny how it takes the Star a day to put up editorials it publishes in its paper, but when it’s about Charlie White they immediately write it and put it up.

  • Pogden297

    “federal pen?”  You do realize that these are state charges brought by state prosecutors?  No “federal pen.”.  And you do realize he is charged of one time voting someplace where he is said not to be his residence.  Not exactly the crime of the century.  Of course the opinion today actually confirmed he was livign at his ex-wife’s house and not the condo.  Judge Rosenberg’s sole rationale was that the stay at the ex-wife’s house was “temporary” and therefore it was not his residence.  The judge recognized that the evidence did not show he was living at the condo as claimed by the Demcorats.

  • Think Again

    No, he doesn’t realize it.  Fairly typical fodder here.  On the bright side, he can see Hawaii from his back porch.

  • Think Again

    Actually, that’s exactly what he said.  A wandering lawyer….sad sight.

  • Think Again

    Gravy-training.  With this publisher, it’s become commonplace.  Still I can remember when this newspaper, under local ownership, embarked on some hateful crusades that embarrassed good journalists.  So it’s all relative.

  • Think Again

    I tried to click-and-drag, but couldn’t…re-read the section about a citizen using a residence with the intent of returning, references to PL 12, etc.

  • pascal

    I lean toward the Star being stupid.  There is no mess here if sore losers licked their wounds rather than attempted to use judges to overturn electoral results.  The star would do well to read blogs before lurching into stupidity.

  • Think Again

    Pascal: White registerted to vote at a residence where he didn’t live.  Period.  

    How does that fact escape you?  He was seeking the office whose duty is to oversee Indiana’s election laws. Are you also advocting that we turn the treasurer’s job over to Tim Durham?  

    Get a grip on things, man.  You’re smarter than that.

  • Rico

    Where’s the outrage over Sen. Lugar using an address for the purposes of voting where he hasn’t resided in 30 years?

  • Chucknorris

    Reading this Charlie couldn’t have even updated his registration and been ok. According to the Judge no matter what with his living situation as it was he was not allowed to registr to vote.

    So wait does that mean that all the homeless folks who use the Wheeler Mission as their address should be turned a way from the polls because that is clearly a temporary residence? Is it felony if they vote? What about my buddy who stayed with me for a couple of months after breaking up with his girlfriend and moving out?

  • Ramon

    Federal law entitles Lugar to claim that address since he is out of state in service to the country.  The home that he previously owned is his last known Indiana address so it is his legal Indiana address.  The tea party claim of no home in the state is bogus. Thousands of Hoosiers do it including military people, ex-pats and those in other roles of service to the country.

  • Camp Paradox

    While judging in-tent, the ruling also acknowledges Mr. White occupied a home, somehow illegally.  Ah, the nomadic nature of modern jurisprudence.   

  • guest

    That is not a law it is an opinion-

  • Southsider

    “The judge summed it all up in one humble thought: you aren’t a resident if you don’t have a lease or a mortgage.”     That’s bs..I don’t lease my home, I don’t have a mortgage, so I’m not a resident?

  • Ramon

    Actually it is a law.

  • Turk182

    I ain’t NO Charlie White fan, most of the negative comments are from the leftest fan club I see in here all the time, so In my opinion their talking heads for the democrats, TA, Ramon, Wilson, the regular crowd.
    I don’t know one darn thing about the judge who came down with his opinion on ole Charlie, but my guess, he is just another leftest against Charlie, using his power as a judge for political recourse.
    Also is the special prosecutor in Hamilton County a leftest too?
    Won’t the jury in the upcoming trial determine the innocence or guilt of ole Charlie?
    What does the Democrat party have to gain from kicking ole Charlie out of office before the trial?
    I’m just an ole country boy, who doesn’t understand the political advantage of Kicking ole Charlie out of his office!
    As blogs before mine, many others have done the same thing as ole Charlie, and no recourse!

  • Southsider

    And the Clerk’s office would welcome them with open arms!

  • Guy77money

    So TA should they arrest Evan Bayh and his wife and Luger and his wife for both voting in Indiana and not living here? Charlie will walk away battered but ok when the Indiana Supreme court decides this has no merit.

  • Rico

    Lugar HAS a a farm he could claim as his residence in Indiana.  Why his dumbass uses an address he hasn’t owned in 30 years is beyond me.  The farm he still owns would be his ‘last known Indiana address’. Therefore, as usual, you are wrong. Lugar is even MORE guilty than white if we’re going to apply the same rules to all. (The fact that YOU defend Lugar is a clear sign it’s time for him to go.)

  • Rico

    The state GOP should be far more embarrassed by former Republican and decent Senator Richard Lugar, who still uses the address of a home he hasn’t owned in 30 years for the purposes of voting.

  • Camp Paradox

    Can outa-stater-gators get a homestead exemption too?