A tea party Republican congressman who reportedly owes over $100,000 in child support has filed a motion to have the court sanction his ex-wife.
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) is also asking the court to force former wife Laura Walsh to pay his legal bills.
In July, court documents showed that Laura Walsh was suing the congressman for more than $117,000 in unpaid child support.
The lawsuit pointed to a $35,000 loan he personally gave to his campaign, claiming that if he had enough for that, he had enough to help support their 9-year-old child.
In a possible effort to slow down the case, lawyers for the Illinois Republican asked his ex-wife to provide extensive documentation, including records of her employment, salary, bank statements, tax returns and expense reports. After she failed to provide the documents, Walsh sought to have her sanctioned by the court.
Jack Coladarci, Laura Walsh’s attorney, told The Sun Times that the move was “harassment.”
He added that Laura Walsh was under no obligation to produce the records and that the issue should be Walsh not paying his past-due child support.
Members of Congress earn $174,000-a-year (PDF), placing them in the top five percent of salaried U.S. workers. Combined with their full health benefits, members of the House are compensated at a rate about 3.5 times higher than the average American.
MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell banned Walsh from his show in July, calling him a “deadbeat dad.”
— with earlier reporting by Stephen C. Webster