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Felony charges dropped in 2020 election case against ex-Virginia election official

A key witness "conveniently and quite surprisingly provided a different version of events from that which he had previously provided to investigators," according to the Virginia attorney general's office.

Published: December 4, 2023 2:13pm

Two felony charges against the former general registrar of Prince William County, Va., have been dropped by the state attorney general, leaving one misdemeanor charge in a 2020 election case.

On Friday, the county's Circuit Court ordered the felony charges be dropped. They were  brought against former county general registrar Michele White by the Virginia attorney general.

In September 2022, White was indicted by a grand jury on the felony counts for alleging corrupt conduct as an election official and making a false statement.

The remaining misdemeanor indictment is for alleged willful neglect of duty by an election officer.

The felony counts were dropped after the state prosecutor filed a motion Friday for an order of Nolle Prosequi, or don't prosecute, with the court.

According to the motion, "Sean Mulligan, a key witness for the prosecution who had been previously interviewed" by the state attorney general's investigators "conveniently and quite surprisingly provided a different version of events from that which he had previously provided to investigators."

As a result of the "significant inconsistent statements," the state attorney general "is no longer able to proceed to trial on the two felony charges," the motion also states.

Mulligan was a county office of elections employee during the 2020 election.

When the Virginia attorney general’s office announced the indictments against White last year, the only additional information offered was that she allegedly violated the law between August and December 2020, but details regarding the alleged actions were not given.

According to a notice and motion for release of court funds for defense investigation and expert assistance that was filed this past March, White’s lawyer stated that the attorney general’s office alleged his client "altered election results within the state reporting system, VERIS, and that her alterations resulted in the false reporting of the election results from Prince William County.” 

White had abruptly resigned from her position as the general registrar in 2021 without explanation.

White's attorney, Zachary Stafford, told Just the News in a length statement Monday regarding the Friday motion and order, "I spoke to Sean Mulligan after he was interviewed by the Attorney General’s office during their trial preparations this past week. When I interviewed Mr. Mulligan he did not provide me an inconsistent statement compared to what he had previously stated to an investigator for the Attorney General prior to Ms. White’s indictment, but rather filled in a hole that the initial investigation did not address (I.e. whether Ms. White told him to make the changes in VERIS that were recorded on November 7, 2020).

"Mr. Mulligan stated that Ms. White did not tell him to make those changes and that he could not recall who told him to make the changes on November 7th, but suspected it was one of two co-workers that were handling the results from the Central Absentee Precinct," Stafford added. "The language from the Attorney General’s motion to nolle prosequi that speculated Mr. Milligan’s change in statement was 'convenient' is not based on any suspicion or evidence of witness tampering but merely a poor choice of words."

When reached for comment, the Virginia attorney general's office referred Just the News to the Friday court filing and declined to comment because "[t]he misdemeanor charge is still ongoing."

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