Rick Staples’ release on paternity

Usually the reposted releases here are on the more informational side, the useful-to-know, help-you-live kind of stuff.

Today’s reprint is unique in that it comes from a political candidate for office – Knoxville City Council Fourth District – regarding something we wrote about in today’s KNS. Rick Staples took a paternity test the other day, at the urging of his attorney, he told us (this is different from portrayed in his release).

A couple of observations here for you, dear reader. 1) There are sides to every story, and we attempt to give each one equal space in situations like this. 2) Generally speaking, those seeking or holding office will attempt to control the message that goes out. I’m not saying this is the case here, but from local to presidential elections and offices, I’ve seen this to be true at every level. Knoxville does it. Knox County does it. So does any body or group that wants to present a certain picture of themselves. 3) Staples spent a good amount of time talking with us on the phone, as did the (claimed) mother of his child, talking on a delicate issue that a voting public may care to know about as they head to the polls.

Or maybe they won’t. How you vote and what helps you make that decision is entirely up to you and the confines of the ballot. Our aim is to help you make that decision based on good – objective – information.

Staples’ release:

In order to be as transparent as possible with court action pending, I’m releasing the following statement regarding the news that I am a party to a current legal proceeding. Because litigation is pending, I regret that I will not be able to answer questions regarding this matter after releasing the following statement, which has been approved for media release by legal counsel.

It is true that legal action is pending.
Nearly 15 years ago, I was in a relationship with a woman. We had a child in 1999. At the time, we were living in Montgomery, Alabama. Shortly after the birth of the child, my romantic relationship with the woman ended and I returned to Tennessee. I was thrilled with the birth of the child, and I continued to visit and send financial support to remain a part of his life, even though I was no longer living with his mother in Alabama.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, mailed correspondence to the mother of the child, including checks, were returned to me in Tennessee as undeliverable. I have evidence proving that I, and my family members, tried on numerous occasions to establish contact with the mother of the child. I now know that during this time, she married and changed her last name. Her now ex-husband allegedly adopted my son and changed my son’s last name to his, as well. Because my family and I did not know that the mother of the child had married or that the child’s last name had changed, it became impossible for us to find them.

In April of this year, legal paperwork arrived in my mother’s mail regarding child support for my son. This was the first contact we’d had from these individuals in 14 years. It appears the mother of the child has recently divorced and she is, for the first time ever, seeking support for the child from me.

Because my relationship with the mother of the child took place in Alabama, then I moved back to Tennessee, and now, mother and son currently reside in Georgia, the case may be complicated by three jurisdictions.

I’m eager to take responsibility for this child, in fact, I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to be a parent to this child, and be a part of his life again. Please keep in mind that the legal aspects of the case must be adjudicated among three states. It will take time to ensure each jurisdiction is satisfied with our negotiations. Because a minor child is involved, I would be grateful to each of you for keeping his identification confidential.
The first step in this process is to establish paternity. This is accomplished by a DNA test according to court order. I completed this first step Tuesday. On Tuesday, I was told that it may take from 40 to 60 days to receive test results from Georgia.

He goes on from there to talk about running for office and campaign platform goals.


About Gerald

A journalist in Knoxville, TN. Work (mostly) inside and play (mostly) outside. I'm a part of the X or the Y generation. None of us claim the other.
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