Freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) says he didn’t pay tens of thousands of dollars in child support payments to his ex-wife because he was under the impression they had an informal agreement that he’d keep the money.
“He reasonably relied on [ex-wife Laura Walsh’s] representations and conduct, to his detriment,” Walsh’s lawyer said in a court filing, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Through his attorney, Walsh claimed he had a “verbal agreement” with his wife on child support because “Joe and his former wife were both tired of court appearances and the resulting emotional and financial impact on the family. Neither party had the financial or emotional wherewithal to continue the battle.”
Ms. Walsh, who is suing the Congressman for over $100,000 in missed child support payments, sees things differently, however. Her attorney denied the claim, as well as Mr. Walsh’s office’s claim that the suit is “an attempt to tarnish the Congressman’s reputation” timed to his emergence as a public figure. According to her attorney, she only launched the latest effort to collect the money after the then-candidate lent his campaign $34,000, indicating that he had significantly more cash than he had let on.
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Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.