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Candidate for Congress held on contempt charge

January 27, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

A Democratic candidate for Congress turned himself in Friday on a warrant connected to child support he owes, according to a woman close to him and his campaign.

Richard J. Lank was being held in the Montgomery County Detention Center without bail until Monday, when a hearing is scheduled, according to police and court officials.

Lank, 55, of Middletown, Md., is one of five Democrats running for Maryland's 6th District seat in Congress.

The incumbent, Roscoe Bartlett, is one of five candidates on the Republican side.

The primary election will be held Feb. 12.

Rebecca Rush, whom Lank has described as his life partner and campaign manager, said Saturday he was arrested Friday on a September 2007 warrant alleging he didn't attend a contempt hearing in his child support case.

Rush said Lank has three children, including one minor, from a marriage that ended in divorce.

According to a Montgomery County Circuit Court divorce and child support file listing Lank as a defendant and Linda J. Sherman of Gaithersburg, Md., as a plaintiff, Lank owed $5,525 in child support as of June 1999.

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A judgment against him would be stayed if Lank paid an extra $100 per month toward the overdue debt, according to the file's docket.

In 2005, the child support order was modified.

Lank was found to be in contempt of a court order in July 2007 and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, according to the docket. Lank could purge the contempt charge and avoid jail by paying a lump sum of $2,100 toward the child support debt.

He didn't appear at a contempt hearing in September 2007, according to the docket.

The Gazette newspaper reported that Henderson contacted the newspaper Friday after reading a Jan. 17 story about Lank's run for Congress.

After previous attempts to call or find him, police left Lank a message on his cell phone Friday and gave him one hour to turn himself in, which he did, according to the story.

Lank has said he is a principal in Grey Goes Green, a consulting firm for environmental and energy projects.

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