Del. House Lawmaker Ordered to Stay Away from Wife - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. House Lawmaker Ordered to Stay Away from Wife

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Rep. John Atkins Rep. John Atkins
GEORGETOWN, Del. (WBOC) - State Rep. John Atkins, D-Millsboro, finds himself in the news again for something that has nothing to do with making laws. He has been ordered to stay away from his wife and kids. Atkins had a protective order filed against him this week.

Court documents paint a rough, but as Atkins points out, a one-sided picture of life in the Atkins family. In one section his wife writes simply, "I am afraid of him."

Heather Atkins in her petition for the protective order describes John as having mood swings, being verbally abusive and having a temper that's getting worse. And Heather writes she fears for her safety.

She requested and was granted a no-contact order and temporary custody of their kids.

The petition also includes a request for police to seize multiple guns from the family's home.

This is not the first time issues between the Atkins have become public. In 2007 Atkins resigned his seat in the state legislature after he showed a police officer his legislative credentials to try to avoid a drunk driving arrest and then got into a domestic incident with Heather.

Atkins pleaded guilty to a charge of offensive touching.

In 2008 Atkins switched from the Republican to the Democratic party and won his seat back.

That seat at legislative hall was conspicuously empty Thursday afternoon as lawmakers went into session.

In just five months he'll once again be up for re-election to that seat. WBOC talked to likely voters in millsboro about this latest controversy.

"I think he's ok," said Estella Hickman. "I don't see anything wrong with him. What his personal life is, what he does at home, shouldn't affect his helping the people or being a representative. I think that's two different things."

"He should be kicked out of office," Ashley Webster said. "If he can't take care of what he's supposed to at home, how can he in office? He shouldn't be there."

WBOC asked a lot of people in Delaware politics about the situation, including the governor and the state Democratic and Republican parties. Nobody had any comment on it.

Atkins released a statement about the protection from abuse order that said in part, "PFA's are one-sided court documents with only one person giving their perspective on an issue. I will have the opportunity to tell my side in court."

In addition to issues in 2006 and 2007, Atkins dealt with questions in 2011 surrounding a visit with his son to the Sussex Correctional Institution. And in 2012 he faced scrutiny connected to tire burning.
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