Reading the comments to the story, one would have thought Keefer has made a move based on integrity, that he didn't want to be part of an unethical Charlie White administration. I'm not sure of Keefer's reason for resigning, which reason may be made more clear with a formal announcement tomorrow. But is the pat on the back Keefer receiving or his assumed motivations actually earned?
First, there is no allegation whatsoever that Charlie White has somehow corrupted the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary of State's office or that anyone on White's SOS staff is doing anything wrong. The legal challenges Charlie White faces are totally based on pre-election events.
The duties and responsibilities of the Secretary of State's Office, critical to Hoosiers, continue on despite what is going on in a Hamilton County courthouse. White has every right to fight the charges. In the meantime, regardless of whether White steps down temporarily or not, the office needs strong leadership and guidance, which is an important task served by the Deputy Secretary of State/Chief of Staff.
When I was head of the Title Insurance Division at the Department of Insurance, I had a number of dealings with Todd Rokita's Secretary of Office. I was impressed by the people who worked in the office. You are talking about 70 or so people who are undoubtedly dedicated to their jobs, simply trying to make it through a difficult time. Just because White is facing legal challenges doesn't mean that the office cannot continue to function at a very high level.
While I never will criticize someone for considering his or her own welfare in career decisions, the laudatory praise being given Keefer for stepping down, probably is far, far overblown. Walking away from the No. 2 job probably was a decision based more on Keefer's self-interest rather than what is best for people of Indiana.