Texas Lawmaker Ordered to Pay Thousands to Ex-Wife

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HOUSTON (AP) - State Representative Harold Dutton has been ordered to pay nearly $16,000 in overdue child support payments to his ex-wife.

The Harris County family court declined to hold Dutton, 62, in contempt for the late payments and rejected his ex-wife's request that he be jailed.

Associate Judge Conrad Moren also ordered Dutton -- a Houston Democrat -- to pay $8,000 in legal feels to his ex-wife's lawyer.

Friday's ruling was the latest development in a long-running legal fight between Dutton and Phyllis Faykus-Dutton, the mother of four of his sons. They divorced in 1995.

Dutton says the child-support payments were late because the original court order was "ambiguous" and he didn't want to make unnecessary payments.

Dutton serves as chairman of the House Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee. He was first elected in 1985.