Monrovia – FrontPageAfrica has reliably learnt that a second state in the United States of America has been drawn into the child abandonment case involving the political leader of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change, who, according to a communication in possession of FrontPageAfrica, has been asked to submit a sworn income affidavit to determine honest payment of support in the ongoing saga involving a child abandonment case of his 10-year-old child.
Both Senator George Manneh Weah and Meapeh Kou Gono, the mother of his 10-year-old child, have been asked to submit a sworn income affidavit to determine honest payment of support in the ongoing saga. June 28 hearing Set
According to the communication, the State of Georgia has requested the state of New York through the City Court of New York Law Department Family Division to investigate the finances of Mr. Weah further and effect support and also have him repay arrears for any income based social services the child may have received. To do that, the family court is requesting sworn affidavit of income, assets declaration, tax document from both parties. The hearing, according to the communication, has been set for June 28.
Senator Weah is listed as a resident of Rose Dale, New York.
The Newton County Court in the U.S. State of George on April 18, 2016 issued a warrant for the arrest of Weah for child abandonment. The petition was filed by his 10-year-old daughter’s mother, Meapeh Gono Glay.
Under Georgia law, child abandonment is automatically treated as a felony if the non-custodial parent, which would be Mr. Weah in this case, is out of state. And, if found guilty, Mr. Weah could face up to 12 months in prison.
Prior to the warrant being filed, Mr. Weah hired a lawyer to take in a check of one hundred and sixty U.S. dollars claiming that he only makes one thousand ninety U.S. dollars as Senator in Liberia and that he has two other minor kids born in 2000 and 2012 and can only afford to pay $US160.
The June 28 hearing means that Weah’s legal troubles will not be over following the May 11 hearing in Newton County, Georgia as Georgia and New York authorities dig into his finances to verify the initial financial declaration
Kenna White, the clerk of the court for criminal hearings of the Newton County Court in Covington, Georgia, confirmed to VOA that a petition was filed by Gono, the mother of Weah’s 10-year-old daughter. The court official also confirmed that a hearing has been scheduled on May 11, 2016.
The court had ordered “the father shall pay child support in the amount of $1,000.00 per month commencing May 1st, 2016 to be paid on the 1st day of each month, and continuing every month thereafter until further order of the court”.
Secrecy continue to keep the salaries and benefits of lawmakers in Liberia from the public eye. FrontPageAfrica this week took the lead in ensuring that both the House of Representatives and Senate provide information regarding their earnings.
The only open, accessible source is the National Budget which stipulates that each senator besides the Pro temp receives an amount of US$209,516 annually from the national budget. Individual senators get US$3, 4956 each for general allowance monthly; US$ 81736; US$30,000 as special allowance and US$38,400 as transportation reimbursement allowance.
On a monthly basis each senator gets US$2,913 as basic salary; US$6,811.33 as general allowance; US$2,500 as special allowance; US$3,200 summing to a little over US$15,424 monthly. Other budgetary expenditure line items such as Telecom/Internet/Post amounting to US$ 13,793 annually; Residential property lease of US$12, 000; Fuel Vehicle of US$ 42,371; Fuel Generator-US$ 2,465; Repairs Vehicles-US$19,832; Other Specialized Materials-19,938; Foreign Travel (incidental)-US$ 14,000 are all cash given in lump sum to the senators.
In two letters addressed to the Senate and the House of Representatives, Rodney S. Sieh, Editor and Publisher of FrontPageAfrica is requesting the legislature to make available all information regarding lawmakers’ salaries and other incentives to the news outlet.
Using the Freedom of Information Act passed into law by the National Legislature and signed into by the President, Editor Sieh stated that Access to information is a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution of Liberia.
A document shown to VOA shows that on February 25, 2016 one Laureen J. Mullins, Weah’s attorney, paid $162 to the court, “authorized by my client for the needs of the minor child”.
According to the unit’s website, the Family Court Division plays a critical role in promoting the well-being of the City’s children and protecting the general public.
The Family Court Division consists of two units: The Interstate Child Support Unit appears on behalf of out-of-state custodial parent petitioners who are seeking to establish paternity and obtain child support from New York City residents. In addition, a custodial parent who lives in New York City may seek the Unit’s assistance in filing for child support from parents who live outside the state and the country.
Attorneys in the Family Court Division’s Interstate Child Support Unit primarily handle child support petitions filed under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) by out-of-state jurisdictions or custodial parents residing in other states, U.S. Commonwealths, and many foreign countries. Staff also assist many New York City residents in obtaining paternity and child support orders.
The act limits the jurisdiction that can properly establish and modify child support orders and addresses the enforcement of child support obligations within the United States. In 1996, Congress passed and President Bill signed the Personal Responsibility and work Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act which required that states adopt UIFSA by January 1, 1998 or face loss of federal funding for child support enforcement. Every U.S. state has adopted either the 1996 or a later version of UIFSA.
Whenever more than one state is involved in the establishing, enforcing or modifying a child or spousal support order, the Act is implemented to determine the jurisdiction and power of the courts in the different states. The Act also establishes which state’s law will be applied in proceedings under the Act, an important factor as support laws vary greatly among the states.
The Act establishes rules requiring every state to defer to child support orders entered by the state courts of the child’s home state. The place where the order was originally entered holds continuing exclusive jurisdiction (CEJ), and only the law of that state can be applied to requests to modify the order of child support, unless the courts of that state no longer have original tribunal jurisdiction (CEJ) under the Act. sourced www.frontpage.com /Rodney Sieh