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Genesee County Judge Faces $4.1M Paternity Suit

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FLINT (WWJ/AP) - A Genesee County judge has been sued by an attorney who claims he fathered her two children and shirked his parental responsibilities.

Denise Ketchmark, who is white, claims she and Circuit Court Judge Archie Hayman, who is black, had an affair for nearly two decades that produced two children, now ages 6 and 13.

The lawsuit seeks more than $4.1 million and a paternity test. Ketchmark also wants Hayman to begin paying her $2,000 a month for child support and expenses.

Ketchmark claims the publicly elected judge said he wanted their relationship kept secret “because the African-American community would be in an uproar … to learn that he (had) chosen a white woman as his exclusive, significant other,” according to the lawsuit.

Hayman says he has had a “professional relationship, political relationship and a close personal friendship” with Ketchmark. He has also acknowledged signing an affidavit of parentage to allow Ketchmark’s children to receive medical benefits from Genesee County — saying he signed the affidavits “since no father had claimed paternity.”

Hayman’s attorney, Jack Belzer, said the situation is “more involved and complex” than it appears. He also said there’s a good chance at least one of Ketchmark’s children was conceived through in vitro fertilization.

“We’re real confident at least one of the children is going to turn out not to be his biological child,” Belzer told MLive.com.

Ketchmark disputes Belzer’s claim, saying Hayman was her only sex partner for the past 19 years and that she “never underwent an in vitro fertilization.”

Ketchmark said she agonized over filing the lawsuit but that it was a “necessary” decision.

The case was transferred to Oakland County after a Genesee County judge recused himself.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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