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Queens Chronicle

Timing of the Katz lawsuit questioned

Why is ex-wife of Curtis Sliwa suing at the height of candidate’s campaign?

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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:34 am, Thu May 23, 2013.

Queens borough president candidate Melinda Katz’s campaign says that the recent allegations made against her and her partner, radio personality Curtis Sliwa, are an attempt to compromise Katz’s run.

“This is a sad, frivolous lawsuit,” George Arzt, a spokesman for Katz’s campaign, wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, it is an attempt to use a political campaign and false innuendo as leverage to publically rehash a long-ago settled divorce.”

In a lawsuit filed on March 21, Mary Sliwa, Curtis Sliwa’s ex-wife, is charging him and Katz with conspiring “with each other to drain marital assets so Curtis Sliwa could leave the plaintiff in due course, join his mistress, Melinda Katz, and have a ‘nest egg’ of marital assets.”

Allegedly, Sliwa, who had two children with Katz through in vitro fertilization while he was still married to Mary Sliwa, told his ex-wife that they would have to pay child support for the Katz’s children. According to the Child Support Standards Act in New York, payments are mandated, under the circumstances presented, to be no more than $1,700 each month.

“Despite the forgoing, the defendants fraudulently conspired together for a payment of $8,000 per month ($96,000 per annum, tax free) plus another $1,150 per month (tax free) for Curtis Sliwa to provide his mistress with a $2 million life insurance policy,” the suit alleges.

“The response given by Katz’s campaign is about as broad as the Empire State Building,” Paul Siegert, Mary Sliwa’s attorney, said. “The complaint is very, very specific, and neither Melinda Katz or Curtis Sliwa has denied any of the claims made. Mary had harbored this for a while. She is a devoted wife and mother. Melinda Katz wrecked this marriage.”

In the complaint filed, there are seven specific dates that Mary Sliwa said her husband and Katz met at her home in Forest Hills and “engaged in sexual intercourse.”

Siegert said the timing of the lawsuit has nothing to do with Katz’s bid for Queens borough president.

“It is not as if we believed they had relations,” he said. “We know they did. There are specific dates and times laid out that show that Melinda Katz and Curtis Sliwa were having an affair. Mary could care less about Melinda Katz or her political aspirations. The comment made by her campaign is just to distract people from the issue at hand. There is a broken marriage and a woman and child who have been negatively affected, and she’s making this about her campaign.”

Siegert went on to say that his client had no choice but to file after Sliwa stopped putting money toward the couple’s old co-op, where Mary and their son reside.

“There is a six-year statute of limitations and Mary has not been able to pay the co-op mortgage and it’s gotten to the point that she couldn’t wait any longer,” he said. “In December, Curtis’ salary was cut and he hasn’t paid child support since then. The courts originally wanted to have the money automatically deducted each month but he opted out of that so he could pay when he felt like paying.”

Sliwa was not available for comment and Katz’s spokesman would not comment further on the matter.

Mary Sliwa is seeking $1.4 million in the lawsuit. There was no finalized date for Sliwa and Katz to appear in court.

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