Judge: No Ruling on Austin Scott’s Divorce Records Until December

Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:13am

A Georgia judge has decided to delay ruling on whether to unseal state Rep. Austin Scott’s decade-old divorce records until after next week’s election.

The decision by Judge Bill Reinhardt to wait until Dec. 6 to make his ruling comes as a blow to some Democratic insiders, who thought the details of the Georgia Republican’s divorce might be a late game-changer in Rep. Jim Marshall’s battle to hold on to his 8th district seat.

Earlier this month, a Democratic activist filed a motion asking that Scott’s 10-year old divorce records be unsealed. But at today’s hearing, Reinhardt said Scott and his ex-wife hadn’t been given 30 days to respond to the suit, because they were served court papers Oct. 12 and 16, according to a report by Georgia’s WMAZ-TV.

Marshall has denied that he had a role in making the divorce a campaign issue, but the Democratic lawmaker has also said that since the divorce has come up, the public has a right to know what’s in the sealed documents.

“I’ve heard consistent allegations of what’s in there, and it’s not pretty stuff,” Marshall said in an interview earlier this month. “There are things that go on in marriages that can shed light on the character of the individual.”

Scott spokesman Sam Ray said Tuesday he had no comment on the ruling except to say “that distraction is not going to help put voters back to work.”