Ex-Rep. Duncan Hunter on ‘Everlasting Vacation’ from Paying Assist, Spouse Says

Ex-Rep. Duncan Hunter on ‘Everlasting Vacation’ from Paying Assist, Spouse Says
Former Rep. Duncan D. Hunter leaves court after Family Resolution Conference
Former Rep. Duncan D. Hunter leaves courtroom simply earlier than midday Thursday after a household decision convention. Picture by Ken Stone

Former Rep. Duncan D. Hunter didn’t pay little one and spousal help whereas on a “everlasting vacation” to Poland and again this yr, his estranged spouse instructed a courtroom Thursday.

“He has not [sent] a dime since April — not even $25 or any help funds, and I imagine he ought to have been capable of do one thing,” Margaret Hunter instructed Decide C.J. Mody in El Cajon household courtroom.

Hunter’s lawyer drew a distinct image of his three-month European journey.

The disgraced former GOP lawmaker, unemployed since January, traveled to Poland to “assist set up … connections” and discover some “kind of employment by these relationships there,” mentioned Leslie Abrigo, a Chula Vista household legislation legal professional.

She additionally mentioned Hunter, a Marine fight veteran, was now wanting into utilizing the GI Invoice to get his contractor’s license — a return to his pre-Congress kind of labor.

In the long run, Mody granted Hunter his requested “downward modification” of his help funds primarily based on the pc program DissoMaster and courtroom pointers.

Beginning July 1, he’s to ship Margaret $1,038 a month in little one help (for 15-year-old daughter Sarah, who lives together with her mom in La Mesa) and $323 a month in spousal help.

Hunter, 45, was ordered a yr in the past to pay $2,212 in month-to-month spousal help and $1,743 in little one help. However with Duncan shedding his full-time job in January and Margaret claiming $3,175 in gross month-to-month wages now, the decide rejiggered the funds.

Mody additionally ordered the couple, separated since September 2019 amid their corruption scandal, to separate Sarah’s health-care prices 50-50. He additionally should file weekly experiences with Margaret, 47, displaying he’s made at the very least 10 contacts for potential employment.

A half-day trial was set for Jan. 31, 2023, to resolve the way to cut up any contested money owed and property, together with a 5{ed4a5fd24114d7ae6500c97fa7652b3915c7d898a0860a9d70161be4f9c5b00d} time share and a retirement account. However Margaret appeared open to personal mediation — which might avert a public trial.

Margaret phoned into the listening to on the El Cajon courthouse — however didn’t make herself seen on a Microsoft Groups display. Duncan sat along with his lawyer within the quiet second-floor courtroom with solely courtroom workers and a single information reporter attending.

Nary a phrase was uttered by both get together, or the decide, about Hunter’s six-term congressional profession — ended after he and his spouse pleaded responsible to rampant misuse of marketing campaign donors’ cash. (They later have been pardoned by then-President Trump, sparing Duncan 11 months in jail.)

However particulars of their current lives escaped.

Duncan Hunter mentioned he’s lived along with his mother and father rent-free at their 4,000-square-foot Alpine property since his separation. He described his quarters: a single room with a toilet, with no lounge or kitchen, in his “wing” of the 5-bedroom, 6-bath home (with adjoining 3-bedroom leased accent dwelling unit).

Mody requested him the “affordable rental worth” of your entire home of former Congressman Duncan Lee Hunter and his spouse, Lynne.

“I do not know, your honor,” Hunter mentioned.

In lieu of hire, Hunter mentioned he’s serving to out with chores on his mother and father’ 3-acre property — 30 to 40 hours complete this yr. He cited “dust work, sewage work, water work, landscaping. Cleansing, fixing.”

Margaret, whose maiden title is Jankowski from her native Poland, mentioned she’s been working as a CNA — an authorized nursing assistant.

“I’ve two years in faculty (credit score) that don’t rely anymore — it’s been too lengthy,” she mentioned. “I used to be supposed to begin faculty July 5 and I bodily can’t as a result of the schedule simply doesn’t work with a full-time job. … Being a CNA isn’t an possibility for me for the following 15 years.”

Lawyer Abrigo mentioned Hunter hoped to turn out to be employed quickly and in the meantime is taking out loans to pay help and payments. His mother and father have loaned him “a number of 1000’s” this yr, the courtroom was instructed.

Decide Mody mentioned this “leaves the courtroom with questions as as to if or not these are in truth loans or items to Mr. Hunter.”

Margaret, appearing as her personal legal professional, had her personal questions.

“I’m a bit of confused with what cash he’s receiving. I used to be not conscious … of the unemployment insurance coverage,” she mentioned. Hunter disclosed getting $1,620 a month in state jobless advantages.

Margaret mentioned his spring journey to “a 3rd world nation” helped him stretch his revenue.

“He can dwell very comfortably on the cash he was receiving a month,” Margaret mentioned. However she puzzled why he’d depart America with a navy incapacity (that wasn’t specified).

“I might assume he would comfortably need to keep dwelling and never journey to a conflict zone,” she mentioned. “It simply looks like he’s … on a everlasting vacation … and I believe a few of the particulars in his expense report are questionable for me.”

Aside from one “lump sum” earlier this yr, Margaret “stopped receiving cash in mid-January,” she mentioned.

The decide famous Duncan reported spending an estimated $500 a month on groceries, $750 a month on “consuming out” and $250 a month on garments. 

Mody tried to drill down on their respective tax statuses. However Margaret and Duncan each mentioned they haven’t but filed 2021 taxes — after in search of extensions.

Margaret final filed her expenses-and-income assertion with the courtroom in June 2021, and mentioned her hire has risen from $2,300 to $2,800 a month.

“In September 2019, there was no possibility for me apart from to get an condo,” she mentioned, noting that “all of our pets” live together with her, together with Sarah. (Two different kids, a son and a daughter, are out of the home.)

Margaret, who moved to America together with her household from Poland, met Granite Hills Excessive College junior Hunter on Election Evening 1992 by his father’s congressional workplace, the place she volunteered. They married in 1998.

In courtroom, they referred to one another solely as “Miss Hunter” and “Mr. Hunter.” Identical for Mody, eschewing the normal honorific of “Congressman Hunter.”

Mody famous that Margaret filed her petition for dissolution on Nov. 20, 2020.

“We’re quick approaching the two-year mark with this case,” he mentioned, “and this case does want to maneuver ahead to its decision or judgment.”

Genie Mathena

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