SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A Human Resources complaint filed by REAL News Michiana against employees of the St. Joseph County Voter Registration Office has been swept under the rug by the director of Human Resources, Kimberly Karkiewicz.
The complaint stemmed from an incident in which RNM approached the Voter Registration office to question Democrat Deputy Aisha Avance about potential crimes and fraud with the use of tax dollars. Her boss, Democrat Board Member, Muhammad Shabazz (who is currently being sued for sexual harassment in the office) promptly kicked RNM’s reporter out of the public space. You can read more about that here.
RNM called into the human resources department and filed a complaint over the phone and received the following email from Karkiewicz.
A complaint was brought to my office regarding your visit to St Joseph County Voter Registration Department morning of Tuesday August 10, 2021.
There was no request made to the Department Board Members or Human Resource Department from you to request interviewing of county employee.
The County offices and employees are here to help the community with county business. Your visit to the Voter Registration Office on this day was not to conduct county business.
Your visit was to approach a county worker during work hours to investigate a story not conducting St Joseph County business. This should not have been done.
In future you need to conduct your investigation outside of the employees place of employment not disrupting department and employees.
Proper channels for request for public information is available on sjcindiana.com I have provided the links In this email for your ease of use if you are needing information.
Once again, public officials are lying about the purpose of the visit, which was investigating the use of tax dollars in the office of voter registration and its employees, much like the erroneous protective order filed by Avance against RNM reporter Clifton French.
RNM has been investigating potential fraud and criminal acts linked to recipients of South Bend’s Alive Grant, which was designed to help fund community organizations that were working to stop violent crime.
The first investigation involved Justice for Michiana, of which Avance was listed as the President. That investigation uncovered a disturbing story in which members of Justice for Michiana, specifically activist Vernado Malone, were taking nude photos of homicide victims at a local funeral home, then sharing those photos with members of the public. Those photos were being viewed and shared at the voter registration office. Below is a statement from a former employee of the voter registration office.
“(Malone was at the voter registration office) bragging about how he was able to get this guy (recently deceased) put back together again and nobody else in the area could.” Trisha Carrico, who saw photos of two deceased people on Malone’s cell phone, said.
Carrico, who was working in the St. Joseph County Voter Registration office at the time, says Malone came up to the office in the fall of last year to visit Avance to discuss Justice for Michiana business.
“He said to me while he was talking to (Avance), ‘You couldn’t handle seeing this photo.’” Carrico said. “He was talking about a man who killed himself… this man was really badly decayed.”
Carrico says Malone then showed her two photos. One before the victim’s body was worked on, the other one was after.
“It was graphic. In the first picture he was laying on a table… there really wasn’t a whole lot left of him.” She said. “In the second picture he was all dressed up, the funeral home had pretty much put the man back together again.”
Carrico says Malone then asked Avance if he should show her more pictures.
“He said, ‘Hey, should I show her a picture of that guy?’” Carrico said. “(Avance) said ‘Oh Lord.’ Then he was sliding through his phone and showed me another guy.” Carrico explained.
“It was a full nude picture, shot from his feet up. He was laying on top of a sheet. He had been shot in the head.” She said.
RNM later learned that Avance was the founder of another organization and Alive Grant awardee, CHOICES for Life South Bend. Since two Alive Grant recipients were now connected to the nude photograph scandal, RNM wrote another story.
RNM is currently investigating more potential fraud and crimes involving Alive Grant awardees and Avance’s potential involvement.
RNM RESPONSE TO HR
Due to the overwhelming evidence of Avance working on the Alive Grant business while working at the voter registration office, RNM sent a response to Human Resources Director Kim Karkiewicz on August 13th.
Was Vernado Malone ever kicked out of the voter registration office when he was sharing nude photographs of the recently deceased? He has admitted to doing so. I feel that would be more distracting than asking a public employee about public dollars in a public venue.
Malone and Avance have admitted to working on Alive Grant duties while in the office. I was there to discuss those matters and associated fraud.
Employees in the office have consistently been proven to be doing other things than work related to their VR duties.
It seems the rules you are citing are enforced in an extremely bias manner and I am being singled out for political views or other issues based on characteristics outside of my control.
A call to discuss the complaint would be appreciated.
RNM has not received a response from Karkiewicz or her office.