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Senator's divorce could get nasty

Republican Senate leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla filed for divorce Dec. 10 with a pretty boilerplate separation filing from lobbyist Claudia Diaz de la Portilla. She followed up Dec. 11 with a counter petition that whacked him right between the eyes by claiming the Miami Senator is "unwilling and unable" to help pay the bills.

Ouch. While the senator denies the charge and has publicly only said nice things about his soon-to-be ex-wife, this could get way meaner.

There is an argument to be made that the divorce is private. But he's a public figure and the divorce files of public figures can reveal a side of a politician's life that's hidden from public view. Just ask former Palm Beach County commissioners Tony Masilotti and Warren Newell. Both had suspicious stuff in their divorce records and, a few Palm Beach Post stories and a federal indictment or two later, both got nice rooms in a federal clink.

This is not to say the leader is in the same league as Newell or Masilotti. In fact, Mrs. Diaz de la Portilla, nee Davant, says in her court filing that she "has removed funds... to reduce the husband's debts,'' an account that squares with the senator's claim of being on hard times when he had troubles paying an election-related fine.

Story here.