Walsh resolves child support dispute with ex-wife

April 19, 2012

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U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh said Thursday that he and his ex-wife have settled a child support dispute. The topic was sure to come up as the McHenry Republican runs for re-election.

The Chicago Sun-Times broke the story last summer that Walsh was being sued by Laura Walsh for $117,000 in unpaid child support. Walsh at the time called the story a "hit piece" and denied his ex-wife's claim.

The legal dispute dragged on until Thursday morning. All pending matters have been dismissed, according to a statement from both the congressman and Laura Walsh.

The statement said they "both regret this public misunderstanding and the effect it has had on [their] children."

It continues with a line surely meant to blunt political attacks: "[W]e now agree that Joe is not and was not a 'deadbeat dad' and does not owe child support."

An attorney for Laura Walsh confirmed she signed off on the joint statement, which was distributed by the congressman's campaign.

Details of the agreement haven't been released. But, in an email, a Walsh spokesman said the two sides "sat down in private and resolved things on their own."

Walsh faces Democrat Tammy Duckworth in November. Duckworth has refused to say if she'll make political use of the issue.

Asked to comment on Thursday's development, Duckworth spokesperson Kaitlin Fahey wrote, in an email, "Tammy's actually not really focused on this."

Fahey then added: "But, I believe this is an election year settlement and [Walsh] has a lot of explaining to do when it comes to his record of financial irresponsibility."