Rep. Tim Leonard’s Shocking “Deadbeat Dad” Request Denied

State Rep. Tim Leonard (R-Evergreen).

A story from Marianne Goodland of the Colorado Springs Gazette takes another look at the highly dysfunctional post-divorce personal life of Republican Rep. Tim Leonard–who went to jail for contempt of court in December of 2016 over a conflict with his ex-wife stemming from Leonard’s refusal to cooperate on his kids’ educational matters. The story made Leonard look like a petty and vindictive ex-husband trying to make his former wife’s life as difficult as possible–to the point where the rare sanction of sending Leonard to jail for contempt was imposed by the judge.

Well folks, Goodland reports today that Leonard wasn’t finished messing with his ex-wife–and this one is offensive on multiple levels:

Few lawmakers, if any, can claim they can live on $30,000 per year, even with an allowance that pays a per diem for meetings outside of the 120-day session.

But Republican Rep. Tim Leonard of Evergreen recently made that kind of argument as he attempted to get his child and spousal support obligations reduced in a Jefferson County court. [Pols emphasis]

The full story is behind a paywall, but the short version is that Rep. Leonard, who works part-time as a Colorado lawmaker, attempted to claim that his part-time job in the General Assembly is sufficiently consuming in its responsibilities that he is unable to obtain a second source of income in order to meet his child support obligations. Leonard’s child support was based on an average of his earnings over the past decade, and apparently he’s not doing whatever he did before that paid more than being a legislator pays.

Fortunately, Judge Diego Hunt isn’t buying any of this and denied Leonard’s request to reduce his support requirements:

At the July 3 hearing, Hunt called Leonard’s decision to become a lawmaker, from the financial perspective, a “voluntary reduction in income.”

Leonard is not precluded from making a career decision that could help cover his family support obligations, Hunt said. “The court does find that (Leonard’s) decision to become a legislator was his good-faith decision, but the court does not find that this an objectively reasonable decision given the significant reduction in income. The court also concludes that (Leonard) can make significantly more from his commercial real estate business but chooses not to dedicate his time to his company and is therefore voluntarily underemployed. [Pols emphasis]

“The court also finds that (Leonard’s) career choice unreasonably reduces the children’s financial support,” Hunt said.

We’ve been sympathetic in the past to the low salary paid to Colorado lawmakers, and for that matter other officials like Governor and the constitutional offices where the prescribed pay in the law is considerably below market for the equivalent private-sector position. But in the case of legislators, under the current system they are not only permitted but expected to remain separately employed. Leonard is not a member of minority leadership in the House, and there’s just no reason why he would be any less able to work in the off-season than any other lawmaker.

So, there’s that. But the real problem here, of course, is that Leonard is attempting to make an excuse of the “burden” of part-time lawmaking in order to shirk his child support obligations. It’s very difficult to imagine a more politically toxic and self-inflicted problem for Colorado House Republicans. That Republicans re-appointed Leonard to the House Education Committee after he went to jail for violating court orders related to his children’s education is bad enough–now you’ve got the same Rep. Leonard trying to cut his child support obligations, an action that would directly hurt his kids, by asserting in essence that his service in the legislature is what’s more important.

More important than his kids. If that doesn’t deeply trouble you, you need to re-examine your own priorities.

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28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Starving your kids to own the libs.

  2. Genghis says:

    What a piece of shit.

  3. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you condemn him, National Enquirer Pols.

    • unnamed says:

      Does that apply to the refugees that were separated at the border and their kids put in cages?

      Shouldn't you walk a mile in their shoes before you condemn them?

    • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

      I don't have any kids or an ex-wife to abuse, humiliate, or deny assistance to.  What would you suggest I do to walk in this turd's shoes?  Starve some puppies?  Steal money from blind panhandlers while I simultaneously break their canes?

      I know, take a bus-full of schoolkids out into RMNP, then punch a hole in the gas tank, set it alight, and say, "Sorry kids, I brought you into this situation and am responsible for your care, but your moms are pissing me off, so, good luck!"

    • Genghis says:

      lol

      By "walk a mile in a man's shoes," are you suggesting that Pols accept voluntary underemployment and try to use that status to screw his children out of monetary support? If so, there's not much point to your suggestion. Little Timmy found out, as deadbeats usually do, that voluntary underemployment isn't a way around a parent's support obligations.

      Your implication that Little Timmy's behavior is something others should emulate is reprehensible, Moderapist.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Fluffy, you would defend this guy, wouldn't you? But not a word of sympathy for his ex-wife having to raise his kids without him meeting his obligations.

      Nice, once again, your family values crap is on full display.

       

      • ModeratusModeratus says:

        I didn't say that. I just said there could be more to the story.

        • unnamed says:

          Couldn't there also be more to the stories of people who had their kids taken away at the border.  So, don't condemn them before you walk a mile in their shoes MAGAt-anus.

           

        • ajb says:

          No, you didn't, asshat. You implied with your cheeky metaphor that we would do the same thing lil' Timmy did if we got divorced. I can see where you would, but that's not the way responsible adults behave, asshat.

           

        • Genghis says:

          lol

          Moderapist, why are you lying about the content of your earlier post?

          Is voluntary underemployment a legitimate basis for reducing one's child support obligations?

          Do you have any reason to believe the judge was incorrect in finding that Little Timmy Leonard is in fact voluntarily underemployed?

          Reprehensibility issues aside, was Little Timmy Leonard's decision to seek a reduction in his child support obligations in a public proceeding breathtakingly stupid from a political standpoint?

          Should taxpayers be compelled to take care of Little Timmy Leonard's children if Little Timmy himself has "other priorities"?

          How much money will you contribute to the care and feeding of Little Timmy Leonard's children so that Little Timmy can pursue a wingnut agenda in the state legislature, unfettered by falderal such as a real job?

          Why do you hate Little Timmy Leonard's children?

        • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

          All there is to the story is that he's a deadbeat S.o.B who thinks it's more important to spite his ex-wife that to support his kids. Walk a mile in his shoes? I've walked in his kids' shoes; the ones that pinch and that the toes have worn through, the ones with no tread left because they're last year's shoes. Your grandparent's bought you those because your father's support check was late, or didn't come at all. Any more excuses you want to make for him, Moddy?

        • SuzieStrauss says:

          More to the story, Moderatus? 

          Maybe the fact that Mr. Leonard chooses to live in a 6,000 sq ft rental house that costs $3,500 a month?  On a $30,000/year salary? 

          Maybe the fact that his ex wife PAYS HIM child support of over $1,200 each month?  He was fighting to get that amount increased.

          The people of Colorado don't need a person like this representing us any more.  Good riddance.

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      You mean like walking in the shoes of a person who can’t get health care from someone on a federal plan? 

    • spaceman65 says:

      Walk a mile in his shoes, you say?  The court determined that he was voluntarily unemployed, meaning he is deliberately avoiding making income he reasonably could make.  Therefore, the court is going to impute a higher income than the income he actually makes.  Basically, it means that he is deliberately not working so he can avoid paying to support his own kids.  Yes, Moddy, here's your GOP 2018 family values man.  I won't walk a fucking foot in his shoes, let alone a mile, because unlike Leonard, I'm not an asshole trying to screw over his own fucking children.

       

  4. RepealAndReplace says:

    Repeat after me Timmy: 

    FAKE NEWS! FAKES NEWS! IT'S ALL FAKE NEWS!

     

  5. MADCO says:

    Being an a**h**e is no guarantee not to win elections.

     

  6. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    Hurting his kids in order to hurt ALL of Colorado's kids with his right wing votes in the legislature.

    This man is a fucking monster. Jesus Christ, it's like a movie. How can this be happening in the Colorado I was born and raised in?

  7. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Hopefully,  Lisa Cutter (Tim Leonard's Democratic opponent in 2018) will pound  that "Tim Leonard is a deadbeat dad"  in whatever ad pieces she distributes. She got ~1,600 more votes than he did in the primary.

    HD25 in Jeffco is a fairly typical Colorado district in terms of who's registered to vote: ~23,000 unaffiliated voters, ~20,000 Republican  voters, 16,000 Democrats.

    Leonard's irresponsibility will probably not sit well with Unaffiliated voters  and others in HD25.

  8. allyncooper says:

    He should join the others in the Denver area with cardboard signs on the streets.  "Will work for child support money"

  9. Gilpin Guy says:

    But there can be no doubt that this MAN is as PRO-LIFE as they come.  Go ahead and ask him.  He will tell gladly you how proud he is to be PRO-LIFE.  Just don't ask his kids if he is PRO-LIFE enough to help them.  You can bet in these times, someone who owns a commercial real estate agency is making money hand over fist.

  10. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    What is he doing with his days?

    Is he vigorously working as a legislator — surely it would be mentioned somewhere if he was showing up at every committee meeting, diligently seeking out and working on constituent problems, and researching potential bills for the next session?

    Is he relentlessly campaigning by knocking on doors morning until night, calling supporters to ask for donations, and seeking to help other similarly-minded Republicans in their races?

    He's not being a commercial real estate broker (or apparently, not one getting paid).

    Has he joined a basement brigade to fight virtual battles on PS/4? Used his laptop to investigate the reams of entertainment available on the inertnets? Catching up with all the reams of partisan politics available on talk radio ("Hi, I'm Tim — long time listener, thanks for taking my call.") ?

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