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U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) has reportedly arrived at a settlement with his ex-wife as a Cook County judge has dismissed the child support lawsuit against him.
The McHenry, Ill. congressman and Laura Walsh released a joint statement Thursday expressing regret at how their "public misunderstanding" impacted their family, the Daily Herald reports.
"Like many families we have had our share of issues and made our share of mistakes over the years," the statement read. "Having resolved these issues together and cleared up these mistakes in private, we now agree that Joe is not and was not a deadbeat dad and does not owe child support."
In a separate statement, made via a campaign e-mail obtained by the Capitol Fax blog, the Tea Party-affiliated congressman says he has "no regrets over not waging a public fight" on the matter.
"Though there were plenty of days I wanted to scream my side of the story to the TV or newspapers, I always knew my name would be cleared," the e-mail reportedly read. "With these charges and this issue now behind me, I will focus on continuing to represent the good folks of Illinois’ 8th District and running hard to find solutions for the issues voters care about -- finding a job, the price of gas at the pump, keeping their home, and doing something about this unconscionable debt we’re placing on the backs of our kids and our grandkids."
The exact terms of the settlement have not been made public.
The Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday posted a copy of the court order [PDF] that confirms the judge's dismissal of legal proceedings on the child support matter.
The matter has been an ongoing embarrassment for Walsh, who will face Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth in this fall's 8th District congressional race. The congressman's ex-wife previously claimed, as part of their divorce case, that Walsh owed her $117,437 in child support. She further claimed that the Tea Party favorite loaned his own campaign $35,000 and took vacations abroad but said he couldn't afford the child support payments.
Walsh repeatedly denied that he owed the back child support, claiming that the accusations were "wildly and off-the-charts inaccurate" and a "misguided attempt" to exploit his position as a member of Congress.
Last month, Laura Walsh's attorney, Jack Coladarci, said that the Walshes were working toward a settlement in the case, the Chicago Tribune previously reported.
Duckworth's camp fired back in response to Walsh's announcement, in a statement reported by NBC Chicago:
"Regardless of whether or not he is having his taxpayer-funded salary garnished to finally pay his child support in an election year settlement, Joe Walsh's claim that he is not a deadbeat just does not square with the fact that he repeatedly does not pay his taxes or his bills on time, "Kaitlin Fahey, Duckworth campaign manager, wrote.
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