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Former Texas city worker jailed for not paying child support

There seems to be a growing problem regarding child support. In today's lagging economy, more people are struggling financially, including non-custodial parents. When budgets get tighter, child support payments become a lower priority.

Other times, the failure to pay is a chronic problem that has little to do with being short on funds. That appears to be the case with a Texas man who formerly worked as an employee of the city of El Paso. The 48-year-old man, who's also a lawyer, was arrested last week on a contempt-of-court charge for refusal to pay a support debt of almost $80,000.

The man was a city representative when he and the mother of his two children divorced in 2004. In the same year, he was the subject of an unprecedented citizen recall effort that claimed he didn't listen to constituents and failed to do his job. He also failed to win re-election in 2005.

Since his arrest, the man has been released from jail. Court records show he made a $10,000 child support payment and has been ordered to pay another $27,000 before his January court date.

The man's debt to his children rates as one of the highest in the county where he lives. It's not clear why it took a stint in jail for him to begin making payments. But in a border city where so many people are cash-strapped, it seems an attorney shouldn't have trouble parting with at least a small portion of his income for his children on a regular basis.

Source: El Paso Times, "Ex-El Paso city rep jailed over child support," Adriana M. Chavez, Dec. 1, 2011

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