The Texas attorney general has twice filed liens against San Antonio mayoral candidate Greg Brockhouse in the past 13 years related to problems with his child support payments.
Brockhouse, a city councilman (D6) running to oust incumbent Mayor Ron Nirenberg, has been married three times and has fathered four children with four women. He also has a stepson, whom he said he considers his son.
Brockhouse has featured his family, including his children and wife Annalisa, prominently on his campaign website and in campaign mailers. “Annalisa and Greg consider themselves blessed for their big family,” his campaign website states. But like many divorced fathers, he said at times he struggled to make child support payments, owing support for three children each month at one point following his second divorce.
When Brockhouse fell behind on payments with two of his children in 2008 and 2014, the attorney general filed liens against him for unpaid child support. Brockhouse eventually caught up on the money he owed in the first case, involving a woman to whom he was never married, and records show the lien was removed in 2012.
Brockhouse said in the second instance, in 2014, he never did fall behind. He said he became self-employed, starting a cleaning business and later a consulting and marketing business, and was no longer having payments withheld from his earnings and sent to his ex-wife through the County registry or the State Disbursement Unit. He said he was paying her directly.
Brockhouse said once he was able to demonstrate that to the attorney general, including a signed affidavit from his ex-wife showing 11 payments totaling $4,150, the lien was removed in 2015.
“I went fully self-employed and paid mom directly,” Brockhouse said. “The State doesn’t know that you’re making those payments and that’s a lesson learned. … I’ve paid my child support consistent for 20-plus years.”
Brockhouse, who now has two adult children, including one biological child he is no longer obligated to support, said he is current on his child support and has wages taken directly from his City Council earnings.
Following his second divorce in 2006, Brockhouse became responsible for making three child support payments each month, totaling more than $1,500 per month. At the time, he worked at Wachovia Bank and he acknowledged it was a struggle. He said there were times when he was paying 50 percent of his disposable earnings per month to child support, which is the most allowable by Texas law.
“I lived in an apartment, I drove a beater, I did what I had to do,” Brockhouse said. “I worked in the banking industry at that point in my life as a mortgage banker. It was no easy ride but I made those payments. It was tough.”
Brockhouse’s two ex-wives and former girlfriend did not respond to requests for interviews from the Rivard Report.
Brockhouse has worked at least 10 different jobs since 2000, including his cleaning business, his political consulting and marketing business, and his current role with the City Council.
Brockhouse often emphasizes transparency in government while campaigning. He plans to make changes to the way city government operates and interacts with the public if he is elected mayor, including ending City policy deliberations in executive session and holding some City Council meetings out in the community.
It was in the interest of transparency that Brockhouse said he was willing to talk about his history with child support and the challenges he has had with it at times. He emphasized he has always done his best to meet his child support obligations.
“If I’m an elected official and I’m not paying my child support, then damn right, 100 percent, that’s a concern,” he said.
Brockhouse has been less transparent about two allegations of past domestic violence incidents that were reported in March. One involved one of his two ex-wives, in 2006, and the other involved his current wife, Annalisa, in 2009. He was not charged with a crime in either incident. The police report for the second incident has mysteriously disappeared from police records.
Brockhouse threatened to leave a mayoral debate hosted by the Rivard Report on Wednesday if moderators asked him about the domestic violence allegations.