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Rokita Appoints Interim Chief Counsel

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz

Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita today appointed Jerold Bonnet as his office's Chief Counsel. A native of Indiana, Bonnet had been in private practice in New Orleans, Louisiana until September when he and his family were displaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Following the devastating storm, Bonnet moved his family to Indianapolis to live with family until they are able to return to their home in New Orleans. Bonnet will provide legal advice to Rokita in conjunction with attorneys in the Secretary of State's office on a variety of issues concerning election, securities and business law.

Bonnet, a resident of Indianapolis and New Orleans, has managed his private legal practice in New Orleans since 1999. Until Katrina, Bonnet advised clients ranging from Verizon Wireless to the City of New Orleans' Housing Development Unit. Prior to going into private practice, Bonnet served as an in-house counsel for several corporations in New Orleans and Dallas, Texas. Bonnet holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University, a law degree from the University of Tennessee, a Masters in Business Administration from the University of New Orleans, and a Masters in International Business and Finance from the University of Texas at Dallas.

"Jerry's expertise in advising clients in both the private and public sector will be an invaluable addition to our team," Rokita said. "Our office can only benefit by having a talent of Jerry's caliber, even if it is only for the six months or so until he and his family are able to return home."

"I am enthusiastic about the chance to serve my home state of Indiana for the next several months and intend to jump right in as a member of Secretary Rokita's staff," Bonnet said. "A position like this is rare unto itself, and the fact that it comes in the wake of an event such as Hurricane Katrina is even more unexpected. I am extremely grateful to Secretary Rokita and his office for giving me this opportunity."