A state trial court judge yesterday ruled that Marvin Mandel still owes his first wife more than $28,000 in overdue alimony payments and lawyers fees, although his total debt to Barbara Mandel has been reduced by about $14,000, according to court documents filed yesterday in Baltimore.
However, neither the attorney for the first Mrs. Mandel nor Mrs. Mandel herself, would say whether or not the $14,000 payment to his client had come from the suspended governor or from some other source.
Barbara Mandel said yesterday that she is "still hoping Marvin will make an attempt to pay something I'm very reluctant to try to attach any (of his) assets, but if it becomes necessary . . . I will take the next step."
Her attorney, Thomas C. Beach III, said later that his next step would be "to attach (Mandel's) assets if Mrs. Mandel will let me."
The decree yesterday ordering Mandel to pay the $28,000 and giving him credit for the $14,000 payments did not include any details of the financial transactions. Another document filed in the proceedings was immediately sealed from public view by the judge.
Yesterday's order grew out of a lawsuit filed by Barbara Mandel against the suspended governor and his longtime friend, Irvine Kovens, to collect back payments due as a result of a 1974 divorce settlement.
Last month, Kovens, who allegedy had guaranteed the alimony and settlement agreement was dismissed from Barbara Mandel's lawsuit.
The entire divorce settlement, as revealed in papers filed in the suit, is worth about $500,000. Kovens, according to testimony at Mandel's political corruption trial, paid Barbara Mandel $150,000 in tax-free bonds at the time of the divorce agreement.
On the same day in 1974 that his divorce from Barbara Mandel became final, the then governor married the former Jeanne Dorsey.
Barabra Mandel has contended in the lawsuit that Kovens also guaranteed the rest of the settlement and must pay two monthly payments of about $1,500 each if Mandel falls behind in these payments. Kovens has denied ever agreeing to guarantee Mandel's divorce payments.
Mandel, reached at the office of his consulting firm in Arnold, Md., yesterday refused to discuss any details of the settlement dispute.
He did say the consulting business he now runs with his wife Jeanne "is moving along. We're working with some people who have been in to see me, but there are no sure successes."