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State's Attorney Sends Deadbeat Dads a Special Valentine's Message

Operation Love targets 42 deadbeat parents who owe a combined $2 million in child support payments.

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin marked Valentine's Day not with sending candies and flowers, but by deploying teams of investigators and sheriff’s deputies to round up deadbeat dads.

Speaking at a Monday afternoon press conference, Berlin announced Operation Love, an effort to apprehend some of the biggest deadbeat dads in DuPage County. The operation is a joint effort between Berlin’s office and the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office, targeting 42 deadbeats who owe more than $2 million in unpaid child support. While he spoke about the efforts to arrest these parents, Berlin stood next to a display showing photos of the 32 most egregious deadbeats owing nearly $1.5 million, including one Chicago man who owes more than $219,000.

“We are one hundred percent committed to enforcing court-ordered child support payments,” Berlin said.

Unpaid child support is a national problem, Berlin said, with more than $34 billion owed across the United States. Of those parents who should receive child support, Berlin said 25 percent report receiving no court-ordered payments. He said from 2009-2010 DuPage officials collected $40 million in overdue child support payments, citing the DuPage County Child Support Enforcement Program as one of the most successful in Illinois.

Berlin said his office is dedicated to making sure parents meet their obligations of taking care of their children.

“These child support payments are not optional. They were ordered by the court, and we intend to use every tool at our disposal to ensure that parents who willfully refuse to support their children are held responsible,” he said.

The majority of the deadbeat parents live in the county, however Berlin said investigators are seeking fugitives in Cook County, Will County and other parts of the state. Included in the photo display were several deadbeats from villages with a Patch.com outlet, including Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Lisle and La Grange. They include Mike Garside of La Grange who owes $49,000; Brian Conrad of Wheaton who owes $53,000; Alec Lehman of Glen Ellyn who owes $17,000; Roland Graf of Downers Grove who owes $21,000 and Robert Scudder of Glen Ellyn who owes $66,000. Berlin said it takes many years of neglecting obligations to accrue this kind of debt.

Berlin said by the time Monday's press conference started, investigators had arrested six deadbeats who owed a combined $208,521. Norm Hall, one of the investigators, said the men were arrested at their homes in the morning. Berlin said the bonds on the men were full cash bonds. The money from any bond payout would be applied toward the debt each one owes. Berlin said his office is more interested in seeking the money than in jail time for the deadbeats.

“If they’re in prison then there’s no way they can pay the money they owe,” he said.

While the men in the display each owe tens of thousands of dollars, Berlin said there was not a dollar amount attached to the term deadbeat. He said the courts decide on who is a deadbeat on a case-by-case basis.

As the economy has worsened Berlin said it is essential that parents pay their obligations to support their children.

“Paying child support is not an option. By shirking their responsibility these delinquent parents place a tremendous burden on society and the children’s custodial parent to provide even the basic necessities for the children such as food, clothing and a place to live.”

Berlin said the teams will continue to search for the remaining 36 deadbeats on their most-wanted list.

Julie Farrell February 18, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Thanks, Babette! In these situations, where the information is difficult to find, these types of networking opportunities make things a lot easier on a lot of people. Hopefully, enough people who are owed the money (yes, I said owed as the courts determined it to be) will find these resources. While the Department of Family Services can be a hassle sometimes, as can the county offices, I've discovered if you're relentless they're often quite helpful.
Julie Farrell February 18, 2011 at 04:02 PM
Bravo, Rita....bravo!
Julie Farrell February 18, 2011 at 04:04 PM
What was your earlier statement about personal ad hominem attacks? Oh yeah, right.
Marie McDowell February 18, 2011 at 04:05 PM
Mr. Revere, I am not painting anyone with a broad brush. I think you have me confused with another poster. I just commented that I could see where your anger was coming from. As to the original intent of the article I am happy to see something being done at the county level to enforce child support orders.
Rita Pereira February 18, 2011 at 04:07 PM
Another resource for some Julie, might be the organization "Take Back The Night" To find a link to their site, just google "take back the night dupage." Great source for abused women and children, and assault victims. There's always resources fortunately to be able to get women out and away from these barbaric situations. They may even be able to direct you to the help you need to get any back child support.
Jim Hankes February 18, 2011 at 04:12 PM
Recently overheard at the local Starbucks " Paul Revere better hope God isn't female."
Julie Farrell February 18, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Thank you, Rita. I probably won't follow up with the order already on file. Like I said about that one, he tries. It's the other one who I need to get an order on that's going to be a problem. He currently works a low-paying retail job intentionally to get his support order lowered for his son. This one will not be fun. Lol @ Jim. Don't you absolutely love it when someone accuses another of something that he or she is already doing?!
Jeff Pereira February 18, 2011 at 04:35 PM
“Paul”, it’s obvious that you are knowledgeable of many of the nuances of the laws regarding divorce, custody, alimony/maintenance, and child support. With such knowledge you might have been able to enlighten people and tactfully debate your position. It is unfortunate that you are incapable of sharing this knowledge without being belligerent, condescending, and a boorish cad. While some of your diatribe is supported by citing applicable regulations, other of statements are, well, “odd”, to say the least. If your intent in posting to this blog was to enlighten people and persuade them to consider your point of view, you have failed miserably. Your lack of decorum, female-bashing, red-scare, Orwellian, paranoid conspiracy theories have left everyone thinking that you are considerably less than a “useful idiot”. One can only wonder if your use of the assumed name, “Paul Revere”, has emboldened you to act in such an outrageously loutish manner. If this is how you interact in person or when using your real name, then your ex-wife’s alleged actions and her award of child custody would appear quite understandable. If you are incapable of conducting yourself in a civil manner, we would quite grateful if you would resist the temptation to post in the future. No one needs your abuse.
Tony Cesare February 18, 2011 at 04:42 PM
Ditto. Is there a way to delete this thread from the DG Patch? Whatever the point of the discussion was, its been lost 22 comments ago.
Susan Carroll February 18, 2011 at 04:48 PM
Don't delete it! We might be reaching some sort of record here.
Marie McDowell February 18, 2011 at 04:50 PM
Susan, a record number of posts or level of craziness? HA HA!
Ed February 18, 2011 at 05:22 PM
Thanks to Patch for providing a forum for free speach! What good would our right to freedom of speach be if we did not practice it!
Julie Farrell February 18, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Sometimes it really blows my mine when some people clearly need medication and try to blame it on others' alleged need for it. I'm having flashbacks to a certain Mel Gibson movie.... and yes, Ed....thank you to Patch. I can't say this particular discussion has been enlightening, but it's certainly been entertaining :)
Julie Farrell February 18, 2011 at 06:17 PM
I clearly meant "mind", not "mine".
Paul Revere February 18, 2011 at 06:21 PM
Julie Farrell is now a self-professed mental health expert. Julie says: "Sometimes it really blows my mine when some people clearly need medication and try to blame it on others' alleged need for it. I'm having flashbacks to a certain Mel Gibson movie.... and yes, Ed....thank you to Patch. I can't say this particular discussion has been enlightening, but it's certainly been entertaining :)" I think that's called unauthorized practice of medicine/psychology/psychiatry. Isn't that a felony in most states?
Paul Revere February 18, 2011 at 06:28 PM
Hey Matt Hendrickson, remove me from this comment blog. I'm bored with the people on this list who are below my pay grade and mental level.
Julie Farrell February 18, 2011 at 06:29 PM
I reiterate my earlier statement about ad hominem attacks and mental issues. LOVE when people misquote the law :)
Steve G. February 18, 2011 at 06:30 PM
Don't feed trolls. They have insatiable appetites, and will just poop all over the Patch when fed.
Julie Farrell February 18, 2011 at 06:32 PM
You're right, Steve. Thanks for bringing me back to reality. Sometimes I get a little carried away.
Elaine Johnson February 18, 2011 at 06:54 PM
Just a friendly reminder to stay on topic and avoid ad hominem attacks. Thanks.
Richard Saunders February 18, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Bob Berlin is the new State's Attorney for Dupage County. He recently replaced Joseph Birkett who was appointed to the second district appellate court.
Brooke LaRue February 19, 2011 at 04:08 AM
I just added to the pictures, I hope my information get in the right hands. I wish they had a program like they advertise on the t.v.....'Get your Money Now!!!!' for mom's that are owed soooo much!!!LOL
Julie Farrell February 19, 2011 at 04:07 PM
Haha, that would be nice! But it'd have to be for all custodial parents who are owed, not just moms.
Matthew Hendrickson February 19, 2011 at 07:03 PM
You're welcome,Ed. Patch is all about providing a place where residents of a town can discuss local issues and share their thoughts.
Brooke LaRue February 19, 2011 at 08:46 PM
I know, I do apologize, I wrote that lastnight after feeling like running circles, again, trying to get action to be taken, and I abruptly generalized my situation by saying "mom's" only. Please take no offense, I commend all who actually do take care of their children. It's really a blessing for us and when our children are all grown up, they will fully understand and appreciate us even more:) I know growing up, my aunt(whom was like a 60's television/perfect mom) just up and left out of the blue! Leaving behind my cousins: her son at age 13 and twin daughters at the age of 10! My uncle, with a lil' nhelp from my 'Nan' with meals did an incredible job. The key I learned from him is to be thankful, do not brew on anger or you will become a person you truely aren't. 3 Key Words I've come to personally value: Faith,Family, & Forgiveness:) But, dang.....it would be great to have help. Thanks, Julie, for pointing that out because I definitely don't want to seem ignorant.
Tyler Calhoun February 20, 2011 at 05:54 AM
Paul Revere......Disclaimer: The following comments and information is addressed to Paul Revere ONLY. If U R not Paul Revere please feel free to stop reading this now. I have nothing to say to anyone else here, so don't bother talking to me. Now Paul, I have what I feel is a 'win-win' option for U if U'r interested. I've read some of your comments and I see that U R diligent in pursuing the more broad areas of this issue. This is a good thing, but majority of comments I've heard here are poised AGAINST going that route. The agenda here seems to support the status quo. This is my first time visiting here and I'm certain it will be my last. I recommend you do likewise. I've listed here a link for you to visit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42sI2G4m5aU . The user there is ''thehappymisogynist''. He has numerous other vids there that address several things that U mentioned here. The information & videos you find there should be more than enough to give you the answers and support you're seeking. Also, beginning March 1st, a weekly, online radio broadcast will air at the website http://www.avoiceformen.com/. Good luck Paul.
Julie Farrell February 21, 2011 at 05:48 PM
I hadn't intended on insinuating that, Brooke. I just wanted to clear that up for anyone before someone else mistook what you said. I figured you'd meant it all-inclusive. So sad about your aunt, but I'm glad to hear that your uncle did an amazing job. And thanks for the 3 key values, too. Very helpful in other issues I'm currently dealing with :)
eggy one May 22, 2011 at 02:04 AM
Paul is 100% correct! I have suffered twice from these bias courts and vengful ex's for that extra check. I would not expect a dime from the mom for my time with my children, why would she expect me to pay her for her visitation time? All about the money paul. Look up the TITLE IV-D that courts /states received incentives to deny a parent shared custody. Fatherless america is here. If there gonna imprison me into a lifetime of slavery, then I beleive they need a better reason to persecute me from my children.
Nick Beam May 23, 2011 at 01:50 AM
Paul is so pleasant. It's mind-boggling that someone wanted to divorce him.
misty lauree Gatti June 25, 2012 at 11:22 AM
We are talking it seems in reference to child support not failed marriages nor women or any other thing that wrong witht he world. Yes there are more issue and this devertion to take the spotlight off this subject by trowing a fit of the term is one of them. I am a mother of my9 year old in ohio and her dada owes17,000. I feel I have a right and these other mother's have a right to call the other party a DEADBEAT DAD because well we are going through it and having to make up

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