SOUTH BEND, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has uncovered photos and videos showing a local magistrate attending the birthday party of a career felon in December of 2020. Attending the party with him is a top administrator of the South Bend Community School Corporation.
In one photo, St. Joseph County Circuit Court Judge, Andre Gammage, is seen posing with Clifford Bonds, along with the South Bend Community School Corporation’s Chief Financial Officer, Kareemah Fowler. Fowler is the former City Clerk for the City of South Bend.
The photos and videos of mostly maskless attendees are from a birthday party for Bonds on December 27th, 2020 — prior to the mass rollout of vaccines for COVID-19. According to Indiana Department of Corrections records, Bonds had been out of prison for less than two years at the time.
Bonds has been in and out of prison since 1991. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison in 1991 for dealing cocaine. In 1997, he was sentenced to 2 years in prison on a Criminal Recklessness conviction. In 2007, he was sentenced to 3 years in prison for theft and receiving stolen property. From 2008 through 2016, Bonds was convicted in four more theft cases that resulted in prison sentences.
It’s unclear why a magistrate would be attending the birthday party for a career felon who has convictions spanning nearly two decades. In a Facebook post, Bonds thanks Gammage by name.
REAL News Michiana has been looking into Magistrate Gammage’s potential conflicting relationships with criminals since March of this year. A time-stamped text message from an RNM tipster with the photo of Gammage can be seen below.
Gammage is the magistrate who signed off on a protection order filed against RNM’s Clifton French by a Democrat Deputy of the St. Joseph County Voter Registration Office earlier this month. That employee was the subject of an RNM investigation that led to the discovery of grant fraud within the City of South Bend. You can read more about that here. RNM is providing the timestamped message to show we were investigating Gammage prior to his involvement in the protective order.
It’s unclear if Gammage knew of RNM’s investigation into his affairs prior to signing off on the protective order that now prevents RNM’s Clifton French from visiting the County-City building. A hearing to overturn the order is scheduled for October 4th. Because of that order, RNM has not reached out to Gammage to get comment on the photos or his potential relationships with other known felons.
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