Former Del. Saqib Ali is trying to regain a seat in the House of Delegates in District 15. He previously represented District 39 but left after one term to run unsuccessfully for Senate in 2010. This year, Ali’s well-funded campaign has been roiled by severe domestic problems.
Ali’s wife filed a petition for protection from domestic violence on May 24th. This was dismissed with the agreed upon condition that Saqib Ali attend anger management:
Mr. Ali will be evaluated by Dr. Fred Oeltjen with Maryland Counseling Center for anger management. Mr. Ali will complete anger management. The anger management program shall be recommended by Dr. Fred Oeltjen.
However, matters did not resolve. In a preliminary divorce complaint, Ms. Ali alleged:
On June 22, 2022, upon return to the marital home he once again became violent toward the parties’ older minor child, necessitating the Plaintiff [Ms. Ali] and the minor child to flee the marital home. On June 24, 2022, Plaintiff filed another Petition from Domestic Violence in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County on behalf of the minor child.
Defendant’s [Saqib Ali’s] ongoing abusive behavior toward Plaintiff and the minor children cause Plaintiff to have grave concerns over the mental stability of Defendant and his ability to be an effective and safe parent of the parties’ minor children.
Saqib Ali denied the allegations and tried to spin this as something that “sadly, a lot of people have been through” as part of a divorce. In texts available in public documents, he went further, essentially claiming that his wife is an unfit parent and a danger to at least one of his children.
Except that not only has he consented to anger management training, he also agreed on July 1 to give up custody of his kids for a full year as part of a consent final protective order:
Petitioner is awarded interim physical and legal custody of the minor children.
Respondent shall have non-overnight access with the children as agreed upon by the parties.
[T]his Order shall stay in full force and effect for one (1) year or until further Order of Court or written agreement of the parties.
This agreement makes me doubt Saqib Ali’s claims. Parents who genuinely believe that the other parent is unfit and a danger to their kids don’t normally give up custody but fight to keep them, as his wife did. Even a parent who believes the other parent is capable usually shares custody. Instead, he has given up not just custody but also the right to overnight visits. You do the math.