Texas AG Office’s Child Support Witch-Hunt Costs Family ‘a Home, Their Credit and a Piece of Their Life’

Standard Operating procedure for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. From News 4 WOAI. (After reading the story, please make sure to compliment News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Mireya Villarreal [pictured] for her good work by emailing her here.)

From News 4 WOAI in San Antonio:

A San Antonio man has been hounded by the Texas Attorney General’s Office for more than five years. They want him to pay more than $20,000 dollars in child support.

Problem is, he says they’ve got the wrong guy.

News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Mireya Villarreal is investigating how this humiliating mix-up could have happened and if the state is doing anything to fix it.

Have you ever gone through the phone book and looked for Maria Garza or John Smith? There are hundreds of people living in San Antonio with these common names. But for Jesus Rodriguez and his family, having a common name has cost them a home, their credit and a piece of their life.

Jesus Rodriguez has been married for nearly 20 years to Ana Molina. The couple has three children together.

His real name is Jesus Rodriguez, but he goes by Jesse. It’s that nickname that’s given Jesus and his family years of trouble.

Since 2003, the Rodriguez family has been hassled by the Texas Attorney General’s Office. It says he owes more than $20,000 in child support.

The Attorney General’s Office has sent dozens of letters to Jesus Rodriguez’s address. They’ve called his boss, his credit has been negatively affected and sheriff’s deputies even tried to arrest him.

“It’s embarrassing when the sheriff comes to your door to arrest you,” says Jesus’ wife, Ana Molina. “Your neighbors are all like, ‘What’s going on?’ And it’s not even him.”

So the News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooters tracked down the woman whose owed child support. She asked us not to show her face.

When we showed her a picture of Jesus Rodriguez, it didn’t take her more than five seconds to tell us she had no idea who he was.

“I’ve never seen that man before, ever,” said the young mother.

She says Jesus Rodriguez is not the father who owes her daughter child support…

“I’m afraid it’s just going to keep on going. There’s never going to be an end to it,” Ana shared with us.

The Rodriguez family has learned to live with the constant harassment. Jesus has only one request of the Attorney General: He wants his life back.

“If they could just take it off our credit report and say I’m sorry, I’d be ok with that,” Jesus admitted.

Read the full story here and/or watch the video here.

To learn more about Greg Abbott’s child support abuses, see my co-authored column When Beating up on ‘Deadbeat Dads’ is Unfair (Houston Chronicle, 1/7/07) or click here.

Thanks to Jane for the story.

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