A judge on Dec. 1 approved Virginia prosecutors’ request to drop two felony charges in the case of a Prince William County election worker who allegedly misreported results in 2020.
The Commonwealth’s motion stated that one of its key witnesses, Sean Mulligan, had changed his story, leaving the Commonwealth “with significant inconsistent statements.”
“In preparation for the scheduled jury trial, the Commonwealth interviewed Sean Mulligan, a key witness for the prosecution who had been previously interviewed by investigators of the Office of the Attorney General,” read the motion for nolle prosequi (no prosecution) from Assistant Attorney General James R. Herring.
“During the interview yesterday in preparation for the trial, Mr. Mulligan conveniently and quite surprisingly provided a different version of events from that which he had previously provided to investigators.”
It’s unclear what Mr. Mulligan told prosecutors.
Her trial is set to start on Jan. 16, 2024, in Prince William Circuit Circuit Court. On Dec. 1, a judge set the timeframe for Jan. 16 to 19, but stated it could potentially go into another week. Defense attorney Zachary Stafford had requested a shorter trial period and indicated a second week wouldn’t be needed.
The judge also set a deadline for both sides to file motions by Dec. 15, with responses due Dec. 29 and a pre-trial hearing on Jan. 3.
She reportedly accused the governor of using her prosecution to push his new election integrity unit, which was rolled out two days after Mr. Miyares’ office announced charges against Ms. White.
“Now that we have a Republican governor, who is out campaigning for other Republican governors who claim the election was stolen, I feel that my unexplained resignation and the personal agendas of a few aggrieved staff have created an opportunity for the Governor to use me as a way to show a need for the Election Integrity Unit,” she reportedly said via text message. “It’s just a good show.”
In a statement, she described the charges as “an attack against me, other Directors of Election, Electoral Board members, and Election Officers who serve the voting public and manage elections in Virginia.”
Ms. White resigned from the Prince William County elections board in April of 2021 upon the board’s request. It’s unclear why they made the request.
Victoria LaCivita, Mr. Miyares’ spokeswoman, said it was “utterly false” to describe the indictments are “politically motivated,” noting they were issued by a grand jury. The unit’s announcement was timed to coincide with Virginia early voting rather than Ms. White’s charges, Ms. LaCivita said.
Eric Olsen, who succeeded Ms. White as registrar, claimed that he triggered an investigation in April of 2022 when he reported alleged discrepancies he found while going through documents in the office.
“In 2022, the Electoral Board and new Director of Elections have built an entirely new leadership team that is dedicated to fair and accurate elections,” he said.
“Many improvements and best practices have been adopted to ensure a safe and transparent voting experience for the voters of Prince William County. It was the new Director of Elections that reported these discrepancies to the Commissioner of Elections and State Board of Elections earlier this year, which led to this investigation by the Attorney General of Virginia.
“The Office of Elections has no further comment at this time as this is pending litigation, and our office will preserve the office’s records for public review when the matter has concluded. Thank you.”