The travails of Jeremy Hutchinson: A civil case seeks jailing of the felonious former senator for contempt of courtroom over little one assist failings
Remember Jeremy Hutchinsonthe former Republican senator and gubernatorial nephew?
While awaiting sentencing on guilty pleas to multiple federal charges including participation in bribery schemes and tax evasion, Hutchinson faces legal troubles in civil court.
As I’ve mentioned before, he’s embroiled in a dispute with his former wife, Stephanie, over his failure to live up to a divorce settlement in 2011.
Now disbarred as a lawyer, Hutchinson is representing himself in trying to get released from terms of the property settlement/child support agreement (he is about a half-million in arrears, counting interest, according to his wife’s court filings on promises to provide $10,500 in monthly child support).
The dispute is nearing a decision in Circuit Judge Alice Gray’s court. A recent filing by Stephanie Hutchinson’s attorney, Joycelyn Stotts, asking that Hutchinson be held in contempt of court details the many ways Hutchinson has failed to deliver on promised support for his kids, including payment for mission trips, private school and college. And this, she wrote, is despite his enjoying significant streams of income and additional financial support from friends and his father, former US Sen. Tim Hutchinson. That support helped pay his legal bills and accounting costs in the criminal investigations.
The document responds to Hutchinson’s litany of arguments, including his criminal troubles, of why he should be relieved of his obligations. He relies mostly on a technical argument about the validity of the settlement, not raised until years after he agreed to it and after complying with it for a period of time. He also is unhappy his wife moved to Northwest Arkansas with the children after the divorce, though that’s not a legal argument against enforcement of the agreement. His claims, responds to Stotts, “are simply fabrications of his warped imagination.”
We learn that despite his claims of poverty, he’s earned significant sums of money for, among others, helping a friend sell personal protective equipment to Arkansas public schools. He also received $20,000 for his share of the 1836 Club, a private club he helped start that was envisioned as a lobbyist retreat.
None of this money flowed to his children, Stotts’ pleading says. But he was able during this time to help his new wife pay for a West Little Rock home held in her name and to spend $45,000 installing a pool (she tested she “always wanted a house with a pool”) and also pay for cosmetic surgery .
Stotts has asked the judge to hold Hutchinson in contempt of court, jail him and suspend his driver’s license until he satisfies the child support arrearage.
Unless the court steps in, Hutchinson will never be held accountable, Stotts argued.
There’s always enough for his beach vacations. He had so much money to do so many things. He cannot be allowed to give away money to his new wife and his best friend and blow the rest up until the final hearing then come with turned out pockets to cry woe is me. If a million dollars, or even a few hundred thousand dollars, shows up just to work out a favorable plea deal in federal court, then certainly some more of those funds will show up to keep him out of county jail. Because if Mr. Hutchinson is not subject to incarceration for his complete disregard for this Court’s order and his child support obligation, then who should ever be incarcerated for failing to support their children as ordered by a Court in the State of Arkansas?
Here’s Hutchinson’s response to the request for a contempt finding. Stotts says exhibits and testimony support none of his claims. She wrote: “Mr. Hutchinson was the adulterer in the midst of criminal conspiracies. He made a lot of commitments in the Agreement and Addendum, and he got so much in return. He reaped tenfold for many years and only felt a pang of discomfort when the federal indictments against him started coming down.”
Stotts commented in her conclusion:
There are rules of law, and there is the rule of law. Without our judiciary enforcing laws, we really have no valid system of government. In this case, Mr. Hutchinson has been able to do what he wants, when he wants, with little to no repercussions. He knows the law; he was a licensed attorney and a state legislator for years. He just does not care about the law.”
Given his multiple federal convictions, Stotts also commented that Hutchinson’s credibility is questionable. His ex-wife, on the other hand, has an “impeccable” reputation.
So, one has to question why she has been yoked with raising their three children on what she can muster herself over the last four years while he still sits in the lap of luxury in his West Little Rock home with his newly finished swimming pool while he waits for his next all-expense-paid vacation gifted to him by a friend or family member. He has no sympathy or remorse for what Ms. Hutchinson and their children have been through over the last four years after he cut them off financially. By his own testimony, he himself has never been cut off financially by his family despite his criminal activities and depravity. Ms Hutchinson and her children lost their home. She works seven days a week between two jobs. The children struggled to qualify to compete in school athletics due to non-payment of their tuition. The older two children each work two jobs themselves and have taken out loans themselves to cover for what he has failed to pay for them. They live on debt, charity and the State, while he lives on state funds from being a middle-man on PPE transactions with public schools in the midst of a pandemic and a middle-man to a dental practice sale transaction.
The judge has scheduled another conference with attorneys today.
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