Local News

Some Deadbeat Dads May Not Have Happy Father's Day

Posted June 20, 2005

— The Wake County Sheriff's Office is making an effort to go after parents who are not fulfilling their expectations.

"Deadbeat dads are one of my pet peeves. It's something that I think they should be paying," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said. "I say 'they,' but there are not only dads. There are some moms that should be paying."

Harrison said this week alone, deputies rounded up 65 defendants, including two of the top 10 people in Wake County who owe money. The roundup comes days before Father's Day.

"We didn't plan it that way, but it is a good time of the year to let them down that they are fathers, and Father's Day is a recognition, and we are going to try to get them some recognition by putting them in jail if they don't pay their bills."

The Wake County Sheriff Office's said it has 167 outstanding warrants for deadbeat dads.

Deanne Stewart said she is doubly educated when it comes to child support. A caseworker for the Wake County Child Support Enforcement and mother of two, Stewart said she also struggled first-hand when her ex-husband did not pay.

"Financially, it was very difficult with two kids," Stewart said. "I've had two jobs probably for the past four years."

Stewart said she considers herself lucky because her former husband eventually obeyed a court order.

Harrison said he supports using electronic monitoring ankle bracelets to keep track of child support offenders without keeping them from their jobs. But, for those who do not pay, he said deputies would come knocking.

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