SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (CBS) — The child support case against U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) has been dismissed, following a resolution out of court with his ex-wife.
In a news release Thursday, the Tea Party congressman announced that he and his ex-wife, Laura, had resolved their child support dispute and agreed to dismiss the pending case.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Pat Cassidy reports
“Having resolved these issues together and cleared up these mistakes in private, we now agree that Joe is not and was not a ‘deadbeat dad’ and does not owe child support,” said a statement attributed to both Joe and Laura Walsh. “We both have been loving and devoted parents to our children, ages 24, 21, and 17, and are happy to avoid a public legal fight hurtful to our entire family and look forward to caring for our children in private.”
The child support battle had escalated into an acrimonious public fight.
Walsh admitted he did not pay child support between March 2008 and December 2010, but said in a published report that he and his ex-wife had a verbal understanding that they would divide their children’s expenses.
Walsh had been asking a Cook County Circuit Court judge to deny his ex-wife’s request to increase child support payments, suspend his driver’s license, and freeze his bank accounts, according to a Daily Herald report. He also asked to be reimbursed for legal fees.
In September of last year, Walsh was ordered to prove that he made the child support payments. Circuit Court Judge Raul Vega said at the hearing that he was going to issue a “rule to show cause” why Walsh shouldn’t be held in contempt for falling behind on child support over the past five years.
The effect of that ruling was that, instead of Laura Walsh having to prove the congressman owes the money, the burden shifts to the congressman to prove that he didn’t owe money, according to attorneys for both Walshes.
Walsh was elected in 2010, defeating two-term Democrat Melissa Bean. Walsh has drawn both praise and controversy for his straight-talk approach, biting rhetoric, and frequent propensity for raising his voice.
Walsh is up against Democrat Tammy Duckworth in his bid for reelection this November. He was also the lead speaker for the Chicago Tea Party rally at Daley Plaza this past Monday.