The estranged wife of Maryland Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D) has filed for bankruptcy, saying the congressman has failed to provide adequate support to her and the separated couple's 5-year-old daughter.
In court papers, Jessie T. Wynn, 41, accused Albert Wynn of falling nine months behind on the mortgage of their $195,000 Upper Marlboro home, where she and her daughter live, and claimed to need food stamps.
Divorce lawyer Stephen A. Armstrong said that Jessie Wynn sought bankruptcy protection to avert foreclosure before Christmas, and that creditors had set a foreclosure proceeding for yesterday.
Albert Wynn, 48, who represents most of Prince George's and southeastern Montgomery counties, said he didn't know of his wife's filing.
"I have no need to file for bankruptcy. I have no knowledge of it. I don't have anything to do with it," said Wynn, a deputy House Democratic whip and liaison to the Congressional Black Caucus.
Wynn has sent his wife $1,100 in monthly support, he said. "Apparently, she hasn't made any [mortgage] payments," said Wynn's attorney, Allen J. Kruger of Laurel. "We're trying to settle the matter."
Wynn moved from the house to a Mitchellville apartment in November 1998. In filing for divorce in July, Wynn accused his wife of denying him access to their daughter, Gabrielle, and refusing to help with house payments.
In his House financial disclosure statement for 1998, Wynn reported assets and liabilities within the range of $250,000 to $601,000, mainly tied to four real estate properties, including his home. His annual salary is $141,300. This will be Wynn's third divorce.
Filing with the Maryland U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Greenbelt, Jessie Wynn reported $197,462 in debts, including a $195,723 mortgage with New York's Astoria Federal Savings. The Wynns are listed as co-debtors.
Jessie Wynn, a part-time day-care worker, reported $461 in monthly income and $3,623 in monthly expenses. The couple have not paid their $1,632 monthly mortgage since March and are behind $14,823, she said. She seeks $3,500 a month in alimony and child support.
In counter-suing for divorce Friday in Prince George's County Circuit Court, Jessie Wynn cited adultery, desertion, abandonment and emotional cruelty as grounds. She also filed for bankruptcy Friday.
Armstrong, her attorney, also represents Mary E. Moran, wife of Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) in their pending divorce.
Armstrong, a conservative Republican activist, lost a 1994 primary contest for Congress to Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.).
CAPTION: Rep. Albert Wynn says he's paying his estranged wife $1,100 a month and doesn't know why she's filing.