A Lake County judge has determined a Libertarian gubernatorial candidate from Antioch is in contempt of court for not paying money he owes his ex-wife for child support, education, and other related expenses.
Now, Grayson "Kash" Jackson has until Aug. 6 to pay his ex-wife more than $3,000 or face incarceration for up to six months, court records show.
Technically, Jackson is on the hook to pay $6,067 in fees to his ex-wife. However, Judge Joseph Salvi told Jackson in court May 31 he needs to pay a purge amount of $3,067 by the August date or he would be placed in jail.
"Bottom line, if I don't come up with that amount by that date, he (Salvi) will impose a six-month jail sentence," Jackson said by phone Monday. "This court system is breaking down good parents who just want to be a part of their children's lives."
Jackson, who was previously named Benjamin Winderweedle before a legal name change in 2017, has repeatedly said he's a victim of a rigged legal system that forces him to pay excessive amounts to see his children.
He said he is unemployed and living exclusively on disability and pension payments from serving 20 years in the Navy. He's admitted in court he takes home about $4,500 a month from those benefits.
Payments for his children total about $2,500 per month, about 40 percent of his monthly take-home payment from the Navy, he has said.
Jackson said he has no issue paying the child support. He said the extra expenses for education, child care, extracurricular activities and other costs are causing a financial strain.
"They are putting me into debtor's prison," he said. "There is no way I can meet all of the expectations that Judge Salvi has set out for me."
Parental rights is a key campaign issue for Jackson, who was named the Libertarian gubernatorial candidate in March. He has one child from his first marriage and two from his second.
Jackson has routinely said the cost he's asked to cover on top of child support are frivolous, adding he has asked if he or family members could watch his children free to avoid child care expenses. The court has turn a blind eye to his requests, he said.
"I'm not some dead beat dad avoiding his responsibility," Jackson said. "The money just isn't there. You can't get money out of a rock."
Salvi has also said it's "illogical" that Jackson can't make the child expenses expected. He pointed out Jackson makes $4,500 per month from the government before any employment compensation, has the "capacity to run for governor of Illinois," but is unable to obtain full-time employment.