Former Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh threatens to sue paper

The recently defeated congressman vowed to sue the Chicago Sun-Times over a report that he sought to stop paying child support for his teenage son.

Former Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., has threatened to sue the Chicago Sun-Times over an article that says he missed two child support payments and had filed a motion to stop paying support altogether, according to a statement on Walsh's website.

The original report, published Monday on the Sun-Times website, quoted the attorney for Walsh's ex-wife, who claimed the recently defeated congressman had not paid child support in two months and was seeking to end payments after his term expired Jan. 3.

Walsh says that since his congressional term was ending and he's between jobs, he went to court seeking to modify his support agreement, not eliminate his $2,000 monthly payments as the original Sun-Times report stated. He says he has every intention to pay his wife the court-established payment until his son Patrick graduates high school in May.

"This article by the Sun-Times is a deliberate attempt to defame me, and I will sue them immediately," Walsh wrote on his site. He did not state what he would sue the paper for.

"My adult children have been my life. I pledged to them two years ago that I would fight these charges privately to keep them out of the news, but with the Chicago Sun-Times fabricating a story, I am, at long last, going to fight back."

Walsh's 2012 election run was hurt by accusations that he was a deadbeat dad. He lost to Democrat Tammy Duckworth in November.

Walsh eventually reached a settlement with his wife over $100,000 in reportedly missed payments. Both sides also signed a statement saying Walsh wasn’t a "deadbeat dad."

The initial Sun-Times headline read: "Ex-Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh wants to stop paying child support because he's out of a job." Five hours later, the title was changed to: "Ex-Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh insists he's not trying to stop paying child support."

Reporter Natasha Korecki told Walsh that when she attempted to reach him before the story was published, the former congressman's voicemail was full. Walsh points out that Korecki did not reach out to his attorney until the exact time the report went up on the Sun-Times' website.

The Sun-Times has updated its story to include comment from Walsh and his attorney. Walsh's attorney said Korecki may have been confused by the language of the court filing. Both Walsh and his attorney maintained that Walsh followed the letter of the law in seeking a support modification when his term ended.

Walsh provided pay stubs to the Sun-Times. According to the paper, Walsh's December payment is identifiable. The Sun-Times said, however, that it could not find a payment for February. The attorney for Walsh's ex-wife maintained that Walsh has yet to give her money for January and February.

Recently, Walsh started a conservative super PAC and sought a radio deal. He's also mulled running for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

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