Restraining Order Issued Against Representative John Atkins

John Atkins   It would seem as though Delaware state Representative John Atkins (D) of the 41st District in the Millsboro area, has once again found himself in the middle of another of his patented personal crisis, that have a tendency to spill over into the public arena.

It has been reported on the website, delawareonline, that a court has issued a protection from abuse (PFA)order on behalf of Rep. Atkins’ wife, Heather Atkins.  In her petition to the court, Mrs. Atkins stated that she feared for her safety and that of her children, due to Mr. Atkins’ temper and erratic behavior. The court PFA instructs Mr. Atkins to have no contact with his wife, nor their children.

Mr. Atkins was also ordered to surrender weapons from his Millsboro home to Millsboro police officers, which he did without incident. It is reported that he surrendered  seventeen guns, mostly shotguns.

Mrs. Atkins was also quoted in her petition as stating, “His temper is getting worse and I fear that if something is not done it will affect my safety,” she went on to also state,  “I feel that he is not able to take the best interest of our children and put that first. I am afraid that the children are at risk due to his temper and erratic behavior.”

Mrs. Atkins further described incidents of spousal abuse, and also stated that Mr. Atkins had on several occasions made overtones of suicide, and that their children had been present at these times.

Rep. Atkins has released a short statement through a spokesperson in regards to the PFA, saying they are, “one-sided court documents with only one person giving their perspective on an issue.”, and “I will have the opportunity to tell my side in court,” . This is in reference to a court date set for June 13th for a hearing to decide if the PFA should be extended or lifted.

It is clear that this is a domestic issue that has gotten out of hand in some way. It is worth noting also that many times these PFAs are used by wives to gain leverage on their husbands during custody battles, often with no basis for the claims.

Mr. Atkins has requested that he and his family be allowed to work this out in private, since it is a private matter. And while I do respect that request in regards to the specific issues that the two people involved are facing, I also believe that there is a public aspect to this story. Rep. Atkins is a public figure by choice, he ran for election, he is the people representative in the 41st district. And let us be honest, there is a history of this type of volatile behavior that Mrs. Atkins has described in her compliant.

We can trace this behavior back to the night that Rep. Atkins, then  a Republican, was pulled over for DUI and attempted to use his Legislative ID to influence the officer, with success one might add. Later that night Millsboro police were called to the Atkins’ residence on a domestic complaint by Heather Atkins. John Atkins pleaded guilty and resigned his seat in the Delaware House of Representatives, which he later won back as a Democrat.

Then there was the incident of the illegal burning of tires in 2012 on Mr. Atkins’ father in-law’s land, in which Rep. Atkins got into an altercation with two men who reported the tire burning to the fire company. There were also claims that a friend of Mr. Atkins who was also the Fire Chief, may have falsified documents in the matter.

Then there was the emails that Rep. Atkins sent to high-ranking officers within the Delaware State Police in response to having been pulled over for speeding while in route to Legislative Hall in Dover. Even though he received only a verbal warning, in the emails he made threats of cutting funding for the DSP, and made other inflammatory statements.

In another matter concerning the vegetable wagon that he operates in Sussex County he was found to be in violation of county code, when informed of this he threatened to, “go to Dover and write legislation”, that would allow him to do what he wanted.

So we can see a pattern here for Rep. Atkins in his personal life. A pattern of bullying tactics and threats, that are relevant to public discussion because in many cases he uses his elected office as a bludgeon to threaten and influence people to  get what he wants.

As I said above, it is very possible that the PFA is nothing more than a tactic by a wife who is angry at her husband. It is also possible that it is the result of real abuse. Mrs. Atkins has stated that since she moved out of their home in April, Mr. Atkins has been harassing her by coming to where she is, though she has asked him not to, and by phoning her as much as thirty time a day.

Which ever is the case, it is clear that there is once again a personal issue in Rep. Atkins’ life that has once again spilled over into the public arena. How many times over the recent years has the public had to say, “well that is his private life, it’s non of our business”?  Well maybe it is our business. One would hope that the people closest to Mr. Atkins would be counseling him to take a step back from his public life, and get a handle on his personal life.

Rep. Atkins is up for re-election this year, maybe this would be a good time for him to rethink what is truly important in life, like his children, more important than his being a legislator in Dover for sure. Mr. Atkins has always been a constituent oriented legislator, he is good at it. Well maybe it is time that his constituents think of him, maybe they should give him the time he needs to focus on his family. Power and influence can be a powerful drug, as powerful as any illegal substance, and just as hard to kick. Often drug addicts need interventions to save their lives.

Is it time  the voters of the 41st District intervene for John Atkins, and help him save his personal life, and that of his family’s? I think so.

I know some will think this is just a hit piece because of the history I share with Mr. Atkins, that history is about politics. I write this piece because I have a family, and I would hope if I were in the same situation, that someone would intervene for me.

21 Comments on "Restraining Order Issued Against Representative John Atkins"

  1. cletus says:

    I thought that the proceedings at Family Court were closed? Did someone ‘release’ the information as part of a ‘political conspiracy’ ?

    It is a shame that the political conversation these days is about Sam Wilson and Vance Phillips and the NAACP, Eric Bodenweiser and the boyz in the hood, instead of the suggestions of Senator Pettyjohn’s letter a few days ago…If we are not talking about Jobs and the Economy…perhaps we should reconsider the conversation.

    I wish Rep. Atkins well, however, I do believe he should take care of himself and his family as they are the most important things in his life, not his constituents and the citizens of Delaware. I hope all is worked out especially for the kids sake.

    Now, how about the 700 jobs you were working on in Millsboro?

  2. Mike Protack says:

    Private matter, period.

  3. Frank Knotts says:

    Cletus, you may be right. However, the fact that we have so many of these types of stories about our elected officials may explain why nothing of substance is getting done.
    When you have alleged crimes like Bodenweiser, who was on his way to possibly being elected, who was consumed with pushing his faith on others, you have Vance Phillips who is being sued for sexual misconduct (to say the least), you have Sam Wilson and Phillips again focusing on prayer at the meetings and who and who is not a racist. You have John Atkins who obviously has had, and is having major problems in his personal life.
    And these are the stories and the people we know about. Is it any wonder that our elected officials are at the very least, “DISTRACTED”?
    Yes these stories seem salacious, but they are demonstrative of an ever growing problem among our elected representatives.
    it is time for the voters to take matter into their own hands and vote people who have shown a lack of focus on the pressing matters of the state, out of office, both for the state’s own good, and maybe in Mr. Atkins’ case, for his own good.

  4. Frank Knotts says:

    Mr. Protack, did you feel the same about Bill Clinton?

  5. Rick says:

    All are in innocent until proven guilty.

    Having said that, it should be obvious that the behavior our “public servants” reflects the general culture in America. The left, following the blueprint espoused by Marx and Engels, have worked tirelessly to destroy the family, undermine religion, emasculate young men, replace real achievement with phony “self-esteem,” propagandize students and undermine the curricula, promote students’ rights over parental authority while bombarding our youth with vulgarity and violence through the various media. The old societal norms have been jettisoned, replaced by the chaos of immorality.

    The philosophy of the left is based upon the premise that there is no truth. Everything, including gender, is a “social construct.” Our politicians simply reflect the new society, and if you think it’s bad now, give it another decade or two.

  6. herewegoagain says:

    What planet are you on Rick? Your diatribe above is the perfect example of why things in our society have gone awry! You forgot to list people not taking responsibility for their actions and contantly making excuses.Excuses, excuses, excuses. The left wing conspiracy you wrtite about is ridiculous and has/had nothing to do with decisions John Atkins or any other public official has made. You were correct that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and I give Atkins the benefit of the doubt. But you sir are part of the problem for which you speak! Stop making excuses for people and their actions!

  7. Honi Soit says:

    But quite a lot of gender is a social construct, Rick. If behaviors associated with masculinity and femininity derived entirely from biology (think genitals), then little or no variation would exist across cultures. But that is not the case. So the only explanation is that males and females are socialized in different ways across cultures.

  8. Chris says:

    The Dems should force him to resign. Then he should change his party affiliation to independent. At which time he will be a favorite to win re-election due to the strength of the Gumboro mafia and good ole boy network. hmmmmm sound familiar?

  9. Frank Knotts says:

    Rick, no one is placing guilt or innocence here. I am merely pointing out that when taking into consideration Mr. Atkins’ history, and the fact that clearly there is a real problem at home at some level, that it may be time for him to focus on his personal life and allow others to take the responsibility of governing over for a time.
    Chris does bring up a good point, where is the Democrat leadership on this? Of course they will wait until the court hearing on the 13th, but can we expect any statement, or actions from the Democrats? Speaker of the House Schwartzkopf basically has gone with the “no comment” for now. If the court finds that there is cause to extend the PFA due to real concerns about Mr. Atkins’ behavior, do the Democrats simply ignore it?

  10. Rick says:

    What planet are you on Rick? Your diatribe above is the perfect example of why things in our society have gone awry!

    Oh, our culture isn’t garbage? Yeah, right. Indiscriminate mass murder, a crucifix in a vat of piss and 12-year-old-whores are perfectly normal.

    But quite a lot of gender is a social construct…

    Huh? “Quite a lot?” What does that mean?

    You’re born male or female, and that is your gender. It is a biological fact. A man wearing a dress isn’t a female. You’re confusing gender with stereotypes.

  11. observer says:

    Frank respectfully since none of us are in residing in the Atkins home I hardly think any one of us is in a position to state there is clearly a real problem in their home. The accuser abandoned her children months ago, now all of a sudden she wants them despite the fact they do not want to live with her.

    70% of restraining orders that are trivial or false
    (SAVE. The Use and Abuse of Domestic Restraining Orders. Rockville, MD. 2010.

  12. Honi Soit says:

    Rick writes: “You’re born male or female, and that is your gender. It is a biological fact. A man wearing a dress isn’t a female.”

    No Rick. You are born male or female, and that is your sex–unless you happen to be born a hermaphrodite. You mistakenly equate gender with sex. Gender by definition is based on acquired social and cultural behaviors rather than on biology. Take your example of the dress:

    A Scotsman wearing a dress called a kilt is a biological male and is engaging in a common and widely accepted behavior that in Scotland is consistent with masculinity. A man walking about in Sussex County in a dress is engaging in a behavior that is rare and not at all accepted–except perhaps by some in Rehoboth. And that is because a male wearing a dress in Sussex County is engaging in a behavior that is strongly associated with femininity.

    Think “Tomboy” and “sissy” if you need further evidence that gender is a social and not a biological construct. You get those labels because of your behavior, not your equipment.

  13. delacrat says:

    “…. mass murder, a crucifix in a vat of piss and 12-year-old-whores….” – Rick

    If that’s what’s on your mind, your mind is not in a good place.

  14. Frank Knotts says:

    Observer, respectfully right back, you say, ” none of us are in residing in the Atkins home I hardly think any one of us is in a position to state there is clearly a real problem in their home.”, Yet your next sentence is, “The accuser abandoned her children months ago, now all of a sudden she wants them despite the fact they do not want to live with her.”
    And you don’t call that a clear problem? Really?
    I have to ask since you make a point of pointing out the fact that many PFAs are false claims, as if that is news to me, did you actually read the post?
    I said in the post, “It is worth noting also that many times these PFAs are used by wives to gain leverage on their husbands during custody battles, often with no basis for the claims.”
    I also stated again in the post, “As I said above, it is very possible that the PFA is nothing more than a tactic by a wife who is angry at her husband.”
    Maybe go back and read the post, and thanks for playing along.

  15. herewegoagain says:

    Rick is an expert in all things political. If you don’t believe me, just ask him. According to him, everything wrong in his world can be tied directly to liberals in America. Yes, John. I’m a conservative republican who changed party affiliations to Democrat only because I was kicked out, Atkins is once again in the news because of liberals. Seriously?

  16. Frank Knotts says:

    Well it seems that Rep. Atkins has now filed a petition for a PFA of his own from his wife. He is claiming that he fears for his life and that of his children. Claiming that his wife Heather is abusive and her drinking is out of control.
    You can read the story here.

  17. Rick says:

    According to him, everything wrong in his world can be tied directly to liberals in America.

    That’s right. The “liberal” intelligentsia has a fatuous belief in Marxist, collectivist philosophy. And they know that socialism must be instituted incrementally. And before the socialist utopia can be entrenched, the old order must be destroyed- religion, the family, private property and ultimately, capitalism. And the tools of the leftist are the media and academia.

    It’s not just about Atkins. Our politicians are corrupt because society is corrupt. We are a civilization in decline. And the third-world invasion will accelerate the fall.

    You really need to get your head out of the sand.

    Read Toynbee’s “A Study of History” to see the why and then read Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” to see the how. This nation is living off old wealth and is rapidly heading to bankruptcy and third-world status. At the point, the left will have realized their utopian dream- an ant colony.

  18. delacrat says:


    I recommend you stop listening to whoever is your favorite right-wing radio hatecaster for one month and see how you feel.

  19. saltyindependent says:

    oh rick….

  20. Mitch Crane says:

    Oh Rick. So easy to sound learned. You say “Read Toynbee’s “A Study of History”? It is a 12 volume treatise written over 3 decades. He started the work in 1935! He finished in 1961. I had the honor of taking a course with him when he was a visiting professor at the University of Denver in the fall of 1964. Dr. Toynbee’s theory as to why great civllizations decay and fail has NOTHING to do with social issues or even the tyranny of the majority:

    “He argues that the breakdown of civilizations is not caused by loss of control over the physical environment, over the human environment, or by attacks from outside. Rather, it comes from the deterioration of the “Creative Minority,” which eventually ceases to be creative and degenerates into merely a “Dominant Minority” (who forces the majority to obey without meriting obedience). He argues that creative minorities deteriorate due to a worship of their “former self,” by which they become prideful, and fail adequately to address the next challenge they face.”

    That theory was expounded by him before WWII. Rather than attribute the decay to “liberalism” and social decay, it is the exact opposite. It is the vocal minority who demand every one lives according to that minority’s rules that caise the decline. If America is in decline it is because the right wing nuts have taken control of a political party that are a minority in. America will survive and thrive when the majority take the agenda back from fringe issues and fringe elements and concentrate on what really matters-health,good jobs, education, environment, infrastructure.

  21. herewegoagain says:

    So Rick the almighty was totally wrong. Who would have ever thought?

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