Government
3:09 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Judge's decision expected Wednesday in Charlie White eligibility case

A Marion County judge will decide by Wednesday morning if Charlie White will remain Indiana secretary of state. 

Attorneys for Charlie White and the Indiana Recount Commission requested Judge Louis Rosenberg stay his ruling that White was ineligible to run for office - a move that would make Democrat Vop Osili, the runner-up in the election, the new secretary of state.

White’s attorney David Brooks says the ruling should be frozen until a higher court, likely the state Supreme Court, can issue its own decision.

“For us to install Vop Osili and then have the court overturn it and reinstall Charlie White really makes no sense.”

Indiana Democratic Party leaders say White’s pending criminal trial in Hamilton County, set to begin January 29th, complicates matters.  If White leaves office before the Supreme Court can issue a ruling on Rosenberg’s decision, Governor Mitch Daniels would appoint his replacement.

Attorney Karen Celestino-Horseman, representing the Democrats, says while they oppose a stay, they’ve come up with a solution if Rosenberg wants to issue one.

“Stay the judgment until the earliest occurring of Charlie White being found guilty by a jury of a felony, Charlie White pleading guilty to a felony, Charlie White resigning from office and in which case, then, Vop Osili would come in because our judgment is still standing then.”

Osili would have to resign his post as Indianapolis City-Council Councilman, which he was elected to in November.