Indiana Secretary of State Charlie
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana's top election official found himself in hot water Thursday after being indicted by a Hamilton County, Ind. grand jury.
Secretary of State Charlie White faces seven felony counts ranging from voter fraud and perjury to theft and financial fraud according to special prosecutor John Dowd.
White himself reported to the Hamilton County Jail Thursday and was later released after posting his bond of $10,000.
According to the Indianapolis Star, White allegedly voted in the wrong precinct during the May 2010 primary election. His registered address was that of his ex-wife.
White had moved out of the precinct district in November of 2009. He changed his registered voting address back to his ex-wife's home the following February claiming he was unsure he would close on the new home he purchased out of the precinct.
White did not deny the allegations, but did say he never meant to break the law.
"While disappointed in the grand jury’s decision, I will cooperate fully in the upcoming judicial process. I have confidence in the system and I believe the evidence will prove that I did not intentionally break any laws," he said.
Governor Mitch Daniels has asked White to step down from his secretary of state duties until the case comes to a close.
"It would be neither credible nor appropriate for the state’s top elections official to continue to perform his duties while contesting criminal charges, some of them under the very laws the Secretary of State implements. I have consulted with each of the other statewide elected officials and our judgment about this is unanimous,” the governor said in a statement.
However, it did not appear White was ready to relinquish his position.
"I will continue to do the job I was elected to do and carry on serving the needs of Hoosier taxpayers through the Secretary of State’s office. I am humbled by the outpouring of support. The important work on behalf of Hoosiers will not be derailed by this process," White said.
Indiana Democrats are teeing off on White. Party Chairman Dan Parker is calling for White to step down and that Democrats wanted White's candidacy to be investigated last September.
“The judicial system has validated what we have believed all along: Charlie White should never have been on the ballot as a candidate for public office,” said Parker. “Much like his voting record, White’s entire campaign was a fraud. This situation is deeply embarrassing for the State of Indiana and our democratic process.”
Dowd, a Republican, is one of two special prosecutors assigned to handle the case. Democrat Daniel Sigler is the other.