NEWS FROM DON KNABE
Supervisor, Fourth District
County of Los Angeles
822 Hahn Hall of Administration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: David A. Sommers
(213) 453-6446 (cell)
LOCAL CHILD SUPPORT EVADERS SENTENCED TO JAIL TIME
LOS ANGELES, July 6, 2009 – Sixteen parents have recently been sentenced to serve time in Los Angeles County jail after failing to meet their child support obligations, Supervisor Don Knabe announced today. The sentences are the result of a stepped up criminal prosecution effort by the Board of Supervisors, the County’s Child Support Services Department (CSSD) and the District Attorney’s office.
The recent arrests and subsequent jail sentences stem from the County’s Arrest Warrant Project and “Most Wanted” child support evaders list, unveiled in March 2008 by Supervisor Don Knabe, CSSD Director Steven Golightly and District Attorney Steve Cooley. The project is aimed at executing outstanding warrants for parents who have been charged with or convicted of not paying their child support obligations for their children.
Over the past two months, sixteen parents have received jail sentences ranging from 30-180 days for failing to pay court-ordered child support. Collectively, the sixteen defendants owe $752,349.20 in unpaid child support.
On June 25, Scott Saulsberry of Perris was sentenced to 90 days in jail for failing to make payments on $103,000 in unpaid child support. On June 2, Bartolome Salazar of Reseda was sentenced to 180 days in jail, owing more than $82,000 in child support. Salazar failed to surrender to serve his sentence. A warrant, with bail set at $100,000, has been issued for his arrest. On June 19, Mark Sandoval of Pasadena, who owes over $28,000 in child support arrears, was sentenced to 90 days in jail. On June 22, Gardena resident Marco Smith was sentenced to 90 days in jail, owing over $90,000 in child support arrears.
On a motion of Supervisor Knabe, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors have approved an annual appropriation of $500,000, to be combined with $1 million in federal matching funds, to underwrite the costs of a team of District Attorney Investigators to aid a stepped up prosecution effort.
“The County works with thousands of parents who are doing the right thing by paying their child support obligations. Unfortunately, there are a few people out there, like these sixteen individuals, who have left their children without financial support, going to great lengths to evade paying what they owe,” said Supervisor Knabe. “The message here is clear. If you evade your child support payments, the County will use every legal recourse we have available, including jail time.”
“Over the past six years in California, the child support system has entered a new era of working cooperatively with parents to address their child support obligations,” said CSSD Director Steven Golightly. “Our goal is always to secure regular payment of support in keeping with a parent’s ability to pay. However, some parents willfully ignore their obligations despite having the means to provide. They must be held accountable. I applaud the work of the DA, our Criminal Prosecution Division and the Courts for bringing these parents to justice.”
To support the criminal prosecution effort, the County posts a “Most Wanted” list at www.cssd.lacounty.gov. It provides pictures and case information on individuals who face warrants because of non-payment of their child support obligations. The public can call CSSD’s Criminal Prosecution Division at 213-351-8696 if they have information on Most Wanted individuals.
# # #