January 21, 2009

Gary Becker's wife files for divorce

Bad news comes in threes, the old saying goes.

For Gary Becker, who until yesterday at 5 p.m. was Mayor of Racine:
-- Arrested, Jan. 13
-- Resigned as Mayor, Jan. 20
-- Wife files for divorce, Jan. 20
At right is the first page of the divorce filing in which Becker's wife, Julie, has filed for dissolution of their 27-year marriage. (Click to enlarge.)

The "Petition for Divorce (with minor child)" says that Julie and Gary Becker were married in Racine on Feb. 14, 1981 (Valentine's Day, in case you didn't pick up on that) and have two daughters, aged 20 and 17. Wisconsin being a no-fault divorce state, no reasons for the divorce are spelled out -- there is no mention of Becker's arrest just one week ago on six charges including child pornography and attempting to solicit a minor for sex.

In fact, the only reason mentioned in the filing is this: "The marriage is irretrievably broken."

The case has been assigned to Judge Dennis Barry. Becker has 20 days to respond.

Anyone looking for reasons, can find plenty in the complaint against Becker. Here's a small piece from the long and quite graphic internet chat transcript filed last week with the criminal complaint against Becker by the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation. m reed, they say, is Becker; hope ulikeme14 is an investigator impersonating a 14-year-old girl.

Adding insult to injury: CNN's Lou Dobbs did a short segment tonight about two mayors in sexual hot water, Portland, OR, Mayor Sam Adams, who is openly gay and finally admitted he lied to cover up an affair with a teenager in 2005, and Becker, whose booking photo filled the screen for far too long.


  1. Lets not put Becker soon to be exwife in this. Gary Becker is scum but his soon to be exwife did nothing wrong.

  2. How do you know Colt?? Not saying she is in any way involved, but haven't you ever read stories where the wife knew something inappropriate was going on and didn't get involved?? I know I've seen stories like that. Let's not assume either way in this case is all that I'm saying.

  3. please take the kids names out of this story.

  4. I get the feeling that Racinians are getting jollies out of the sorry actions of a sick man...a sort of 'righteous titillation'.

    Take care of your own lives.

  5. Pure conjecture. You really have no idea how Racinians are getting their jollies....get a life yourself.

  6. I agree. Leave the soon-to-be-ex-wife and children alone and out of this. Let's show some respect for people. Are you interested in serious journalism or tabloid trash? You crossed the line.

  7. Out of respect for the family, please leave Mrs. Becker and the daughters alone. They're going through a hard enough time as it is. Let's show some compassion. You have crossed the line.

  8. I don't think that it's necessary to select out the particular part of the transcript. Yes. she is petitioning for divorce and that is news. And yes, there is "the people's right to know" but the transcript bit adds nothing to the story.

  9. Seazy side show of a politician aside - as well as obvious jokes about Becker "being in clear violation of the penile code" - don't you folks at the Racine Post think you are being just a little Charles Foster Kane-y with your reporting on this divorce?

  10. I know you guys think it's cool to have a copy of the page of the divorce filing - but it mentions the names of their kids. If I'm not mistaken, one is a minor. Couldn't you at least have photoshopped those names out? Who knows who on God's green earth is reading this thing!

  11. Thanks for all your comments.

    While I don't agree that any sensationalism is involved -- and everything posted is from public documents available on the DCI's website or at the Racine County Courthouse -- I have removed the daughters' names from the post and picture.

    There is nothing sensational in Mrs. Becker's straightforward divorce petition, and the small clip from 20 pages of the internet chat transcript relates to Becker's view of his marriage.

  12. Pete: I have been critical of your journalism in the past, however, I see NOTHING wrong with reporting this story or the photo. It is what it is people.

  13. I stand by my comment - people use the cases of perverse child sex crimes to pontificate in a "righteous anger" sort of way. One can hardly be challenged when someone says 'kill the pervert'.

    I have run across this 'kill them' attitude time and again when people discuss child sex crimes.

  14. Anon 5:02 PM: Maybe you're a sex crazed pedophile perv yourself???

  15. Neither one of these two operating this Racinepost ever did responsible journalism when at the JT. So why do you think Pete and Dustin could ever change.

  16. ...an object lesson for the self-righteous attitude that I am explaining:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Anon 5:02 PM: Maybe you're a sex crazed pedophile perv yourself???

    1/22/2009 5:08 PM

  17. "There is nothing sensational in Mrs. Becker's straightforward divorce petition, and the small clip from 20 pages of the internet chat transcript relates to Becker's view of his marriage."

    The chat transcript relates to his rationalization to his actions, however illegal or irrational. It does not add to the story at all.

  18. The only reason one needs to give for a divorce in Wisconsin is that the marriage is irretrievably broken, just so ya know. What, she's going to say that she's leaving him because he cheated on her with an adult female, he's a pedophile, and he's going to be prosecuted for sex crimes? That would be piling on! :D

    This really isn't news. A) Unless the wife has done something wrong, why make such a big deal over her leaving his sorry ass and make her life more difficult? Geez, I'm sure she's humiliated enough as it is, and B) Who didn't expect this?