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updated: 10/14/2011 3:40 PM

Walsh attorney hopes pretrial conference will resolve child support suit

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  • Illinois congressman Joe Walsh

       Illinois congressman Joe Walsh
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
By Kerry Lester
Politics and Projects Writer

Congressman Joe Walsh's attorney said Friday she hopes a November pretrial conference will resolve allegations of $117,437 in missing child support payments by his ex-wife, in order to prove he's "a good dad, not a deadbeat dad," and move on.

Cook County Judge Raul Vega scheduled the conference at his courtroom on Nov. 8, noting that both Laura Walsh and Joe Walsh are expected to attend.

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Neither party was present at the brief scheduling hearing Friday at the Richard J. Daley Center in downtown Chicago, with the 8th District Congressman currently in Washington for scheduled votes.

Walsh's attorney, Janet Boyle, pushed in court to schedule the conference for as early as next week.

"My client needs to get this resolved," she told the judge.

Walsh Tuesday released a blistering 31-page filing accusing his wife of exploiting his position as a congressman by lying about not receiving some of the $117,437 in missing child support funds she says she's owed.

Walsh says allegations of missing payments from November 2005 to June 2007 are false, and he attached a string of checks to the filing in his defense -- many of them addressed to Laura Walsh, and others to his three children's schools and sports teams.

The McHenry tea partyer admits he did not pay child support from March 2008 to December 2010, but says he and his former wife had a verbal understanding that they would divide the children's expenses and neither would pay the other child support. The couple's children are ages 24, 20, and 16.

Laura Walsh's attorney Jack Coladarci Friday called the congressman's filing "more of a political document than a document addressing allegations."

He said that he and his client have not gone through all of the checks yet, but they don't believe that they address the payments Laura Walsh is seeking reimbursement for.

"He sent us checks without receipts, which is putting the burden on us (to determine what the money was used for)," Coladarci said.

As to the verbal child-support agreement Joe Walsh said was in place between him and his ex-wife, Coladarci said he "doesn't agree that there was an agreement to see to modify the child support allegations," but noted Laura Walsh was sometimes forced to take whatever her ex-husband could give her.

"She had to get something to help out," he said.

Walsh, in the filing, asked the judge to deny Laura Walsh's requests to increase his current child-support payments, suspend his driver's license and freeze his accounts until he makes good on past-due bills. He also wants to be reimbursed for the legal fees he's incurred in fighting the allegations.

Coladarci said Laura Walsh has 21 days to file a response to Walsh's most recent filing.

Because it is so extensive, he said, they will likely file for an extension, depending on what happens at the pretrial conference.

"We believe we have a very strong case," Coladarci said. "Him treating her like a bank isn't fair."

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