Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ticket Scofflaw Judicial Candidate Under Fire In St. Joseph County

South Bend attorney Andre Gammage is the Democratic candidate for probate judge in St. Joseph County. Gammage had the endorsement of the South Bend Tribune until the newspaper learned that he had accumulated 153 parking tickets since 2008. Gammage took care of the unpaid tickets after he decided to run for judge, but The Tribune withdrew its endorsement of his candidacy upon learning of his disregard for paying his parking tickets until he became a candidate. Others are calling on him to withdraw as a candidate. St. Joseph Co. GOP Chair Deb Fleming is among those now calling on Gammage to withdraw:

"I believe that Mr. Gammage would not set a good example for the young people the probate court needs to help," party Chair Deb Fleming said in a press release sent out by the party Tuesday night. “If he had any integrity, he would withdraw his name from the ballot."
 
State Sen. John Broden, the St. Joseph Co. Democratic Party Chairman, called Fleming's suggestion that Gammage withdraw "ludicrious" and "a truly sad day for politics in St. Joseph County." Gammage's Republican opponent, Jim Fox, is not asking Gammage to withdraw as a candidate, but he thinks his opponent's disregard for the law should be a consideration in next Tuesday's election. According to The Tribune, the city of South Bend agreed to settle Gammage's unpaid parking tickets by allowing him to pay $1,530 of the $2,520 he owed for the unpaid tickets with late fees after it tracked him down and asked him to pay up. The Tribune quoted Indiana University law professor Charles Geyh in announcing its decision to rescind its endorsement of Gammage. "If someone is constantly violating the rules of the law, and only paying up when finally tracked down, I would be worried that it showed a manifest disregard for the rules," Geyh said.

1 comment:

Gammage for St. Joseph County Proabe Court Judge said...

Unfortunately, the opposing candidate and his party have chosen to draw attention away from the issues important to the citizens of St. Joseph County and instead focus on parking tickets. To begin with, all of Mr. Gammage's parking tickets were paid in 2011 prior to him seeking to become a candidate for the St. Joseph County Probate Court Judge. Additionally, the City of South Bend did not give Mr. Gammage any special treatment when he paid the tickets in 2011. The critical issues in the election for Probate Court Judge are; how to best curb youth violence, stopping the increasing rate of high school drop outs, and fixing a broken Department of Child Services system by protecting and keeping our most vulnerable citizens safe; abused and neglected children. Mr. Gammage is the only candidate who is qualified for the position. The opposing candidate has only appeared on one case in the St. Joseph County Probate Court since 1997 and has practiced in Elkhart County for the last six years. Mr. Gammage owns his own private law firm in St. Joseph County. Further, Mr. Gammage has been advocating for children and their families in the St. Joseph County Probate Court for the past 17 years and has appeared in the Probate Court on more than 500 cases. Additionally, Mr. Gammage is a sitting Administrative Law Judge and has presided over 5000 cases. He has established programs for youth leadership and has spent a lifetime helping youths in the St. Joseph County community. Finally, two Indiana Supreme Court Justices appointed Mr. Gammage to assist the Court in important matters. Andre Gammage is the only candidate in this race who is qualified to become the next St. Joseph County Probate Court Judge. Please visit www.gammageforprobatecourt.org for more information.