State Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) will likely have part of her state wages garnished due to a court order, after state Controller John Chiang turned down her request to avoid the deduction.

As the Orange County Register reports, Chiang says he is legally required to comply with the court order:

In a letter to Chiang, the Dana Point Republican said she is legally separated from her husband and so shouldn’t be held liable for his debts. The garnishment arises from an unpaid $12.5 million judgment against her husband, Dan Harkey, and is part of his former investors’ strategy to collect money through the couple’s community property.

Diane Harkey, who is running for the state tax board, wrote Chiang on Aug. 5, asking him to suspend her state salary in order to avoid the garnishment.

Chiang’s office responded Monday, saying it could suspend pay to her, but was legally required to surrender the court-ordered garnishment of 25 percent of what remains of her $95,000 annual pay. She leaves office at the end of the year because of term limits.

Questions have arisen over the couple’s marital status. Timothy Aires, attorney for the investors seeking payment of the judgment against Dan Harkey for breach of fiduciary responsibility, said he could find no record of a legal separation in the Orange County or Sacramento courts.

For more details, check out the Register’s story.

You can reach Nick Gerda at, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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