( 4UMF NEWS ) Arizona Twitter-Shames Deadbeat Child Support Evaders:
Arizona is cracking down on deadbeats, one hashtag at a time.
The state began “Twitter-shaming” wanted child support evaders — a list of more than 400 parents who owe a collective $20 million — Monday, following through on a promise from Gov. Doug Ducey.
“I’m talking to deadbeat dads,” the Republican said Monday during his State of the State address. “For too long, you’ve been able to remain anonymous — able to skirt your financial and legal responsibilities with no shame. Not anymore.”
“Effective immediately, the state is going to begin posting the photos, names and money owed by these losers to social media, with the hashtag #deadbeat,” he said.
Hours after Ducey wrapped up his hard-hitting address, Arizona’s Department of Economic Security tweeted out its first wanted payment dodger.
“WANTED: #AZ Child Support Evader Aaron Ace Anderson — Owes $170,993 #deadbeat,” read the DES tweet along with a photo of the perp.
A day later, a second loser dad — Carlos Archunde, who allegedly owes $69,192.14 — was featured on the department Twitter account. His mugshot also included the hashtag “#deadbeat.”
While wanted posters are nothing new, this is the first time the state has blasted out suspected deadbeats’ information on Twitter.
“This issue is about awareness and accountability,” DES spokeswoman Tasya Peterson said in an email to the Daily News. “Arizona law has long required the Department of Economic Security to post these photos and information to the website, but Governor Ducey and (DES) Director (Timothy) Jeffries are aiming to amplify these efforts using social media.”
Arizona plans to tweet out all 421 moms and dads on the list of wanted child support evaders.
Missing a single payment isn’t enough to wind up on the list: Pictured deadbeats owe more than $5,000, and have not made any payments in the last six months. Officials must have an outstanding warrant for their arrest.
Child support-owers who have filed for bankruptcy or who are receiving welfare benefits are also not on the list.
But Ducey has a simpler way to stay off the notorious list.
“If you don’t want your embarrassing, unlawful and irresponsible behavior going viral: Man up, and pay up,” he said Monday. “If you’re old enough to father a child, then you’re old enough to accept financial responsibility for that child.”
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