Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), who has made the media rounds bashing President Obama on the national debt, is being sued for $117,437 in back child support he allegedly owes his ex-wife and their three children, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, according to divorce documents filed in court in December.
Walsh’s ex-wife Laura Walsh asked a judge to suspend Walsh’s driver’s license until he paid his child support, the newspaper reports. In response, Walsh asks his ex-wife’s lawyer: “Have you no decency?”
A lawyer for Walsh said the Illinois Republican doesn’t actually owe that much the amount his ex-wife claims, telling the Sun-Times the $117,437 debt was “unfounded.”
“I dispute that he owes the child support that she’s claiming or anywhere near that amount,” R. Steven Polachek said. “Joe Walsh hasn’t been a big-time wage-earner politician until recently — he’s had no more problems with child support than any other average guy.”
Walsh reportedly told his ex-wife that he was out of work or between jobs before he was elected to Congress in November and therefore couldn’t make child support payments. So his ex-wife said it was news to her when she learned that he made a sizable personal loan to his campaign.
“Joe personally loaned his campaign $35,000, which, given that he failed to make any child support payments to Laura because he ‘had no money’ is surprising,” Laura Walsh’s attorneys wrote in a motion filed in December. “Joe has paid himself back at least $14,200 for the loans he gave himself.”
Walsh and his ex-wife divorced in 2002. After Walsh allegedly missed child support payments, Cook County Judge Grace Dickler ordered in 2005 that he had to pay his ex-wife within 7 days or the court would enter an automatic withdrawal from his employer.
In response to the most recent dispute, Walsh submitted an email from his ex-wife that he said showed he was willing to settle with him for around $10,000.
Walsh’s run for Congress was dogged by the disclosure of liens on his property from unpaid bills and staffers leaving his campaign because they claimed he wasn’t paying them. One woman who claims she was hired to be Walsh’s campaign manager sued for $20,000 in salary she said Walsh owes her.
The Sun-Times discovered the court documents during research for a profile on Walsh.