ORLANDO, Fla.,None - Orlando
City Commissioner Sam Ings is newly married and campaigning to keep his seat, but one woman says he fathered her child, and she needs his help caring for the boy.
Solethea Sparks quietly filed a paternity claim for child support last year, and WFTV's George Spencer learned even a paternity test supports her claim.
"I think the public needs to know the Sam Ings I know," Sparks said.
WFTV tried to talk to Ings Monday morning, but he raced off quickly in a navy Lincoln Town Car.
WFTV caught up with him outside a clinic, where court records show he was supposed to take a second paternity test to confirm that he is the father of Sparks' 14-month-old boy.
Sparks said her child has some worrisome health problems, and she needs his father's financial support urgently.
"I'm not looking to have a relationship with Mr. Ings. I'm just looking for him to do what he needs to do for his child," Sparks said.
Sparks initially sought no publicity and asked WFTV to protect the child's identity. The boy has respiratory problems.
Sparks claims she and the District 6 councilman, who's twice-divorced and up for re-election in April, had a seven-year relationship.
But when she told Ings of the pregnancy, he ended
things and has given her no financial support, Sparks said.
"At that point, I said, 'What are we going to do?' He said, 'Get out of my car. And if you don't get out of my car, I'm going to drive up the road and let the police take you out of my car,'" Sparks said.
In December, Ings took a first paternity test. In court documents, even his attorney admits that the test came back positive as Ings being the father of the subject child. But, in court documents, Ings disagrees with the results, even though the state of Florida considers the test to be 99.99 percent accurate.
Sparks said she hopes District 6 voters are listening.
"If he is unable to take care of his responsibility of a child that he fathered and helped bring into this world, why should anyone trust him to represent their interests?" Sparks said.