Legislative Candidate Ephraim Cruz: No Comment on Child Support Lawsuit

State House of Representatives candidate and former Border Patrol agent Ephraim Cruz is open to talking about a federal court case in which he beat charges of illegally smuggling an illegal immigrant across the border.

But Cruz, who is one of seven Democrats seeking two House seats in southside Legislative District 29, is not as forthcoming when it comes to a lawsuit in which he had his wages garnished to pay child support. (Note: Although a judge ordered a paternity test in the case, Cruz had taken a paternity test one week after the child’s birth that showed he was the father.)

James Lamb, who is managing Cruz’s campaign, said that Cruz, 35, would have no comment on the legal actions taken against him by the mother of his son, who was born in December 2001.

Pima County Superior Court records show that in February 2004, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office filed suit on behalf of the child’s mother, whom ScrambleWatch ’08 has chosen not to identify. A recent phone number for the woman, who was working as a nurse at the time of the lawsuit against Cruz, has been disconnected.

Judge Pro Tempore Karen Adam ordered Cruz in June 2004 to pay $775.25 a month in child support. That included $698 a month for current support and $75 toward the $15,654 that Cruz owed in payments dating back to the child’s birth, according to court records. (The amount also included $2.25 in administrative costs.)

In August 2004, the Border Patrol was ordered to begin withholding child-support payments from Cruz’s paycheck.

Less than a year later, in October 2005, Cruz requested that the court lower his monthly payments because he had been suspended without pay from the Border Patrol following his federal indictment on charges of smuggling a Mexican national across the U.S. border. (Cruz would later be acquitted of the charges, which he said were retaliation for a complaint he filed regarding the treatment of detainees in Border Patrol custody.)

In light of Cruz’s suspension, Judge Pro Tempore K.C. Stanford reduced his monthly child support payment to $365 a month.

In April 2006, while Cruz was working for Behavioral Systems Southwest, his wages were again garnished for $487.70 per month, which included $120 in arrears, according to court records. In August 2006, when he went to work for the Arizona’s Children Association, his wages were garnished by the same amount.

In April of this year, as he was campaigning for the Arizona Legislature, Cruz negotiated a $117 decrease in the amount of money he had to provide his son, to $248 a month, court records show.

The Tucson Weekly requested an interview with Cruz to discuss the paternity and child-support lawsuits through campaign manager James Lamb, but Cruz declined to attend. Lamb came to the meeting on Cruz’s behalf, saying the candidate was “elsewhere.”

Lamb said Cruz would have no comment on the paternity lawsuits.

“As a campaign, we have no comment whatsoever on the personal lives of any candidate, whether Mr. Cruz or anyone else,” said Lamb. “This campaign has been about the issues and all the other campaigners in the race have been talking about the issues befitting Legislative District 29. Because of that, it doesn’t really make sense to engage in past issues.”

Lamb dismissed inquiries regarding Cruz’s paternity lawsuit as “prurient and salacious.”

“Your readers are interested in health care,” said Lamb. “Your readers are interested in gas prices. Your readers are interested in the impending water shortage. Your readers do not want to see the Tucson Weekly—or any part of the Tucson Weekly—devolve into TMZ.com.”

UA journalism student Aleksa Brown contributed to this report.


4 Responses

  1. How can a man run for a public office and then choose not to comment on something as important as trying to deny his child the right to know his own father – or to be responsible enough to support his own child without being forced to by a governmental agency?

    When his campaign manager, James Lamb, states that “it doesn’t make any sense to engage in past issues” referring to the candidates personal lives – then why does Mr. Lamb advise Mr. Cruz to spend 40 minutes of his speeches talking about his past, from his childhood in the South bronx, NY, step by step all the way up to his indictment by the federal government and then fill us in on more of his life all the way up to his campaign?

    Cruz spends less than 10 minuets on where he stands on issues! This campaign has been nothing but Cruz telling his personal life story – even regaling us with the full details of his federal lawsuit – except he somehow forgot to tell us about his paternity lawsuit.
    And now both he and his campaign manager have decided that he has ‘no comment on it ‘ Evidently they do not feel feel the voters are important.

    Why is Ephraim Cruz even in this race? How could we as voters ever feel that would be capable of managing our affairs when he can’t even manage his own? He’s got an excuse for everything – why he didn’t bother voting, why he got indicted, why he lost his Border Patrol job – I wonder what his excuse is for trying to skip out on his responsibility for fathering a child – or how about all those 6 or 7 violations in the past few years?

    Mr. Cruz just can’t seem to operate within the bounds of the law in several areas of his life.
    Who on earth ever convinced this man that he should run as a candidate for our state representative?? This is pathetic.

  2. I’m pretty sure Cruz es mi Papi. But, he won’t acknowledge me as his hijo. It’s brutal on my self-esteem.
    In all seriousness, Cruz’s behavior in regard to the birth of his illegitimate child is scandalous.

    Unfortunately, it isn’t unusual.

    What would be nice is if Cruz actually did the right thing and provided the child in question with monetary support without being forced to do so by a court of law. I mean really, how difficult is it to say to yourself, “You know what, I am a man and I will handle this and do the right thing.”

    Not Cruz. He plays to the worst stereotype and shuns any responsibility for his actions. But hey, who cares about another child of color born out of wedlock? Or, another child of color cast aside and unacknowledged?

    Problem is, Senor Cruz has decided he’s going to up and run for political office; state rep. for LD 29!

    So, I humbly submit the notion that this kind of behavior is not what is needed in a leadership position such as the one Cruz seeks. If he can’t even take mininimum monetary interest in his child, he can’t be counted on to do the people’s business.

    James Lamb’s weak attempt at deflection and attempting to tie this revelation to salaciousnous aking to TMZ coverage smacks of desperate spin. I would venture to say that Lamb now has a pretty good idea that he is backing the wrong horse.

    Cruz likes to say he is in this campaign becuase of divine Obama inspiration. Interestingly, Obama is on the record as displeased with men like Cruz. Obama has said that “Any fool can have a child, but it takes a man to raise them.”

    Based upon Jim Nintzel’s article, each of us can see, James Lamb included, that Papi Cruz is no Obama.

  3. From what I’ve read, Cruz is being yet again victimized for “doing what’s right.”

    What is the real issue? Because the facts clearly show that Cruz followed and obeyed all the rules, guidelines, stimpulations of the courts. His son has enjoyed a comfortable life style with the help of the sizeable income from his father, afforded by his once recognizable federal status.

    However, once that status changed, due to employment suspension referable to the (Border Patrol “whistle-blowing” incident), and other employment opportunities, it was inherently expected that there would be a modification of his wages (garnishment) which is stipulated by procedural court mandates. Of course this drastic change in his income would have an effect on all that are involved financially with Cruz, however, in his charge to be a FATHER to his son, he requested that the court lower, not stop or withhold, LOWER his monthly payments…..yet another procedural court action.

    The article cites, “he was forced to take a paternity test”. For the privilaged individuals/organizations that know Cruz, he is a man of great pride and intergrity. He was not forced, directed, or summoned to take such an action. He estabilished his rights, his onust, obligation, duty as a FATHER and a PARENT of his child with the agreement of the maternal parent. It’s what responsible parents do to secure the welfare of their child, despite the change in the parent’s personal/intimate relationship.

    Again all procedural actions requested by the court, and most importantly, “doing what’s right.”

  4. Dawn sounds like she is sleeping with Mr. Cruz. How passionately she defends him. Obviously, Mr. Cruz is full of it. Courts will not allow mother’s to deny visitations unless he is a complete loser. If he really wanted to see his child he would go to court and exercise his rights as the FATHER. He obviously doesn’t want that responsibility. And what about the comment about his 2nd child from that guy at the seven way super slam. Does he have another child he owes child support to? I’d be interested in knowing if he takes care of that one.

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