Bell responds to rumors over proposed child support policy

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - Though Wesley Bell has only been the St. Louis County prosecutor for a few days, he wanted to let citizens know that he’s not allowing people who don’t pay their child support off the hook.

The new prosecuting attorney said he wanted to set the record straight and address rumors that he and his own director of operations were not paying their own child support.

Bell said he just sent out some ideas to see if his office could do things better.

“Obviously, they got out, no big deal. But they were mischaracterized as final policy when it’s just an opportunity to start the conversation,” he said. “This is what I’m thinking and, tell me, ‘is this something we can do as a better policy or is it just a bad policy.’”

Bell was asked about rumors he didn’t pay child support in the past for his now 22-year-old son.

“I did pay child support as I was a single parent,” he said. “I had orders closed and there is no truth to that.”

Bell's director of operations, Tim Swope, said documents that show he owes roughly $19,000 to his ex-wife are only about medical expenses and not being delinquent on support. Swope has denied any wrongdoing and said his kids were living with him for several years. His ex-wife would not comment on the situation.

However, Bell answered on behalf of his staff member.

“His children have lived with him 8-9 years. Great family. They handled it in civil court. He has been in compliance and is taking care of his responsibilities,” Bell said.

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