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Phil Matier: San Francisco Fire Chief Declared Deadbeat Divorcee

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A judge has ordered the city of San Francisco to start garnishing $3,300 a month from the paycheck of San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, who has been declared a “deadbeat divorcee.”

Hayes-White said she stopped paying spousal support to her ex-husband about 14 months ago following an incident in which her ex-husband, Robert White, grabbed and choked one of their sons while under the influence of alcohol.

KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier:

White pleaded no contest in December to a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment and cruelty and was serving his sentence on a county sheriff’s detail and living in a rehab house.

A judge ruled last week that the city has to start deducting payments from Hayes-White’s $302,000 annual salary, though it’s still not clear if she will be asked to cover the thousands in backlogged payments.

It’s an interesting situation because of the ongoing battle between San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Some of Mirkarimi’s supporters may cry foul because they said Lee is singling out Mirkarimi while the fire chief is also breaking the law. It is still unclear how Lee will respond to the situation.

The couple has a history of drama – in 2005, White called police to report that his wife hit him over the head with a pint glass in their San Francisco home. No charges were ever filed in that case.

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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