Former Congresswoman Seeks Sole Custody of Daughter

Former Congresswoman Seeks Sole Custody of Daughter

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Former U.S. Rep. Enid Greene has filed to terminate her former husband's parental rights to their only child.

Her ex-husband, Joseph Waldholtz, the man she blames for campaign finance scandal that drove her from Congress, is serving a three-to-15-year prison term that began last May at a Pennsylvania prison for stealing $30,000 from his dead father's estate and other accounts.

Greene has sole custody of 9-year-old Elizabeth. Her petition could prevent Waldholtz from having any contact with the girl.

"He's back in jail for doing the same kinds of things to more of his family members. I'm not going to let him get the chance to do it to Elizabeth," Greene told The Salt Lake Tribune.

Court officials could not immediately say whether Waldholtz has hired or been appointed an attorney to represent him. Neither he nor his criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia were immediately available for comment on Wednesday, the newspaper said.

Under Utah law, Greene will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crimes Waldholtz committed indicate he is unfit to provide for his daughter's physical, mental or emotional well-being.

A hearing on the matter is set for June 14 and could take days.

Waldholtz was Greene's husband and campaign treasurer when she was elected to Congress in 1994 with the help of nearly $2 million in illegal campaign contributions. The money was funneled into the campaign from the personal fortune of Greene's father.

Greene claimed ignorance of any wrongdoing, though she and her father paid federal fines and the scandal contributed to her decision not to seek a second term.

Waldholtz served 21 months of a 37-month federal prison term on fraud charges in the case.

Waldholtz, 42, was convicted in Pennsylvania last May of theft for checks drawn on the accounts of his stepmother and his late father's estate.

Greene has re-entered public life in recent years. In 2003, she was elected vice chairwoman of the state Republican Party. Last year, she lost a primary election contest for lieutenant governor.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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