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Michele White

Former Prince William County Registrar Michele White has hired an attorney and cemented a trial date for corruption charges she says are motivated by politics.

White, 51, of Occoquan, was scheduled to appear in Prince William County Circuit Court on Friday for a hearing on the status of her legal counsel.

White’s attorney, Zach Stafford of Lawrence, Smith & Gardner, filed notice he would provide her defense on Nov. 9.

The former registrar was indicted by a grand jury in September on three charges: corrupt conduct as an election official, willful neglect of duty as an election official between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020 and making a false statement by an election official between Nov. 3 and Nov. 10, 2020.

Attorney General Jason Miyares’ office has said the case is not politically motivated but has declined to release any specifics about the allegations. The grand jury indictments only list the crimes with which White is charged and do not provide additional information on the case.

White has said that she has not been told the exact nature of the allegations, but she did nothing “wrong or illegal” in the 2020 election. She has said that her prosecution is tied to nationwide efforts by Republicans to cast doubt on elections.

The county Registrar’s Office has said White’s conduct did not impact the outcome of any election but has not commented on any specific allegations.

White was registrar from February 2015 until her resignation in April 2021. Current Registrar Eric Olsen assumed the role Nov. 8, 2021, but is planning to step down.

White is scheduled for a pre-trial conference at 1 p.m. March 22 and a jury trial from April 3 to April 6.

She is free on a personal recognizance bond, meaning she was released from custody with a promise to appear at all court proceedings. She faces between three and 21 years cumulatively on the charges plus up to a $7,500 fine.

Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at nstout@insidenova.com or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.

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(1) comment

Jocelyn Bey

Would love an update whenever details of the charges are made public. I note that per Brady v. Maryland defense has a right to all proof (exculpatory evidence) before trial. Also, I am surprised state law and the judge didn't require some details in the criminal complaint, although I do not work in this area. As to Ms. White political claim about this being a "Republican" plot, both PWC and the new registrar who brought up this issue are solidly Democratic.

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