Hot Water for Dukes? Or Just Accounting Mistake?

Posted by Dave Nichols | Thursday, January 15, 2009 | , , | 3 comments »

As reported by several media outlets, Elijah Dukes, outfielder for the Washington Nationals, may have found hot water once again. He has a little more than a week to pay $40,643 in overdue child support payments. Should he not meet his obligations, he could face penalties including jail.

Dukes, 24, has until 5 p.m. on Jan. 23 to pay the child support and alimony he owes his estranged wife, NiShea Dukes. Failure to do so will land Dukes in jail for 90 days, according to a court order from Hillsborough County (FL) Circuit Judge Mark R. Wolfe. All of this information was originally reported in the Tampa Tribune.

Dukes, who has three children with his estranged wife, was ordered in April 2008 to pay his $6,527 per month in child support and alimony. According to the Tampa Tribune, citing court documents, Ms. Dukes received a payment of $16,685 on April 11. Since then, according to the source for the Tribune, she has received just $200.

According to Nationals Journal, the Nationals issued a statement from General Manager Jim Bowden saying that the team has been "kept abreast of Elijah Dukes' financial situation through his advisers, agents and attorneys."

"When we acquired the player," the release continued, "we were aware that his obligations exceeded his income. Elijah is working diligently with his agents, attorneys and financial advisers in an effort to meet all of his responsibilities."

In 2008, Dukes earned $392,500.

So the question that begs to be asked, is Dukes willingly failing to pay his child support/alimony, or are his advisers (independent of the Nationals) failing him? Was he even aware that he was behind in his obligations? Some simple follow up by either newspaper could have shed some light on those questions, but apparently no one was willing to call Dukes or his advisers.


  1. Kristen // January 15, 2009 at 5:44 PM  

    I didn't want to jump at this story too much, because the Nats just released an awesome caravan schedule and I hate to have one immature person's problems carry the day, but...

    I find the whole thing pretty disturbing. There are people that are fighting to keep their jobs... fathers working extra jobs to support their children...

    It's hard to feel sorry for him...He is privileged to have his level of talent and second, third and tenth chances to make it work.

    He needs to grow up and BE a father.

    We all so desperately want him to get it together off the field, because it sure was a delight to see what he's capable of doing on it.

  2. An Briosca Mor // January 16, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  3. Dave Nichols // January 16, 2009 at 2:33 PM  

    ABM, a good catch and better point.

    not to make light of this, because it is a serious topic, but this is looking more like lawyers and accountants waiting to pay until the very last minute than neglect or mistake.

    and that subtlety is certainly missed by any mainstream media account of the situation.