Hyde owed child sup­port

House can­di­date hadn’t paid $2K, even while mak­ing big do­na­tions to Trump, GOP

Hartford Courant - - FRONT PAGE - By Daniela Altimari

Robert F. Hyde, the Re­pub­li­can can­di­date for Congress whose sex­ist and of­fen­sive tweet about Ka­mala Har­ris drew wide­spread con­dem­na­tion from lead­ers of both po­lit­i­cal par­ties, owed the mother of his 13-year-old son more than $2,000 in child sup­port, ac­cord­ing to court records, even as he con­tin­ued to do­nate thou­sands to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and the Re­pub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee.

On Nov. 4, the fam­ily sup­port mag­is­trate in Tor­ring­ton is­sued a tem­po­rary or­der for Hyde al­low­ing him to pay $94 per week in child sup­port, as well as a weekly as­sess­ment of $14 to make up the $2,100 he owed. The case was con­tin­ued un­til Jan. 13.

Jen­nyfer Morin of Tor­ring­ton said she was com­pelled to come for­ward be­cause Hyde is seek­ing pub­lic sup­port for his cam­paign to rep­re­sent Con­necti­cut’s 5th District. “I’m shocked that peo­ple are

plan­ning to vote for this man,” she said in an in­ter­view.

Court fil­ings shared by Morin and re­viewed by the Courant state that Hyde has do­nated more than $56,000 to po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns since Oc­to­ber 2016. Most of those con­tri­bu­tions went to the Re­pub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee, ac­cord­ing to elec­tronic fil­ings with the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion.

Hyde, of Sims­bury, also do­nated at least $2,000 to Trump’s re­elec­tion fund and at least $750 to the Con­necti­cut Re­pub­li­can Party, ac­cord­ing to the FEC. On Wed­nes­day, the state party an­nounced it was re­turn­ing Hyde’s con­tri­bu­tions, cit­ing his “vile com­ments on Twit­ter.”

On Dec. 3, Hyde posted a crude and sex­ist tweet about Har­ris’ de­ci­sion to drop out of the 2020 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial race. The tweet was re­moved ear­lier this week af­ter sev­eral prom­i­nent Re­pub­li­cans and Democrats crit­i­cized Hyde and urged him to drop his bid.

Hyde would not make him­self avail­able for an in­ter­view Thurs­day but in a brief text mes­sage to the Courant he dis­puted that he had “an out­stand­ing sup­port obli­ga­tion.”

Court fil­ings show Hyde has had other out­stand­ing debts.

He was sued in small claims court in Fe­bru­ary by an Old Say­brook ma­rina for $3,907.39 in fees re­lated to a boat he kept there.

“De­fen­dant has ne­glected, failed or re­fused to pay for stor­age fees and/or for ser­vices ren­dered by the

Plain­tiff de­spite Plain­tiff’s re­peated re­quest,” at­tor­neys for Be­tween the Bridges, LLC wrote in a court fil­ing.

Hyde wrote in a re­sponse in March that the fees “were paid in full a long time ago. No proof.”

A judg­ment was is­sued in fa­vor of the ma­rina.

In a sep­a­rate case, the land­lord of the Sims­bury build­ing where Hyde’s land­scap­ing busi­ness was lo­cated moved to be­gin evic­tion pro­ceed­ings in Jan­uary over un­paid rent.

Hyde “failed to pay the rent for the month of Fe­bru­ary, 2018, and each month there­after, as well as delin­quen­cies from prior months,” ac­cord­ing to the court fil­ing.

Af­ter he failed to re­spond in court to the land­lord’s charges, a judge is­sued in or­der in Fe­bru­ary that Hyde could be evicted from the build­ing.

Hyde an­nounced his can­di­dacy and filed pa­per­work but he has not raised any money, ac­cord­ing to his most re­cent cam­paign fi­nance re­port. He is one of three Re­pub­li­cans run­ning for the 5th District seat, which is cur­rently held by Demo­cratic fresh­man Ja­hana Hayes.

Even be­fore the cur­rent con­tro­versy sparked by the Har­ris tweet, Hyde’s can­di­dacy had failed to gain trac­tion. Al­though the Re­pub­li­can Party will not of­fi­cially select a can­di­date un­til May, most of the GOP estab­lish­ment has dis­avowed Hyde and de­manded he quit the race.

Hyde tweeted a de­fi­ant mes­sage ear­lier this week crit­i­ciz­ing the “libs [and] RINOs” call­ing for him to aban­don his cam­paign, sug­gest­ing he’s in the race to stay

Morin said she was struck by the dif­fer­ence be­tween Hyde’s pub­lic per­sona as a po­lit­i­cal fig­ure and his ab­di­ca­tion of per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity re­gard­ing his teenage son.

“He can’t even af­ford $100 a week in child sup­port but he’s golf­ing with Trump,” Morin said. She pro­duced a photo from Hyde’s Face­book page show­ing him beam­ing as he stood next to Eric Trump at Trump Na­tional Golf Club Bed­min­ster in New Jersey. The same photo was posted to Hyde’s cam­paign In­sta­gram page.

In his text to the Courant, Hyde said he at­tended the golf event as “a non pay­ing guest” in­vited by a char­ity for dis­abled vet­er­ans.

The court case be­tween Morin and Hyde has been go­ing on for years, she said. “We’re go­ing back and forth and he’s stat­ing he’s un­em­ployed and can’t af­ford child sup­port,” she said.

Hyde has had spo­radic con­tact with his son, and “there have been years dur­ing which there was no con­tact at all,” ac­cord­ing to an April 2018 rul­ing is­sued by Judge Kari A. Doo­ley.

Morin, who drives a school bus for a liv­ing and earns less than $400 per week, sought ad­di­tional child sup­port and the court agreed, or­der­ing Hyde to pay $300 per week as of Jan. 1, 2018. Hyde was also or­dered to pay $4,000 in Morin’s at­tor­ney fees. The court re­jected Hyde’s re­quest for cus­tody, grant­ing him vis­i­ta­tion rights only at the dis­cre­tion of Morin.

In the court fil­ings, Hyde said he could not af­ford to pay the court-or­dered $300 a week in child sup­port.


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