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Former insurance administrator's lawsuit against Lois Monday proceeds

Published: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 11:00 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 11:14 a.m. CDT

He's no longer Union County's health-insurance administrator, but that doesn't mean they've heard the last of Frank DeMarco.

DeMarco, senior vice president of American Administrators, was the county's health-insurance administrator for more than 12 years. But, he was dismissed in May 2011 when the board of supervisors voted to switch to Bernie Lowe & Associates of Ankeny.

Now, DeMarco is blaming county supervisor Lois Monday for lost business.

DeMarco filed a civil lawsuit in 2010 against Monday, alleging over the past three years, Monday made third-person false and defamatory comments that injured the reputation and maintenance of American Administrators.

According to court documents, DeMarco states those defamatory comments included:

• In August 2009, Monday stated to one or more individuals in the Creston city manager's office that DeMarco was a crook and a criminal, and that he lies and steals.

• In August 2009, Monday published an article in the Creston News Advertiser which stated DeMarco's conduct with respect to the county's health-insurance plan was "disgraceful" and "was not truthful in many remarks." In the same article, Monday implied DeMarco acted this way because he "likes the guaranteed commission check."

• In February 2010, Monday published an article in the Creston News Advertiser which stated DeMarco engaged in "double talk" and "innuendos" and had improperly "hid behind HIPAA." In the same article, Monday referred to DeMarco and his employees as "bulldogs" and recommended the City of Creston remove American Administrators as its third-party administrator.

As of this morning, former and current county officials have given depositions in the lawsuit including Mike King, Bob Jansen, Bob Brown, Ron Riley, Dennis Brown and Monday.

In the judgment, DeMarco is asking for compensatory damages in the amount to be proven at trial, punitive damages, cost of this action, and all other relief deemed appropriate.

The jury trial was originally slated for Nov. 26, but both parties have agreed and filed a joint motion to move the trial to Dec. 10.

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Who voted for Bernie Lowe & Associates? The board of supervisors voted 3-1 in May 2011 to hire Bernie Lowe & Associates, in turn dismissing American Administrators. Lois Monday, Bob Brown and Dennis Brown voted in favor of Bernie Lowe & Associates.

Ron Riley voted against hiring Bernie Lowe & Associates, stating he felt DeMarco's "total self-funding will be the less expense alternative." Bob Jansen abstained from the roll call vote.

How much will this cost the county? Tim Kenyon, county attorney, said this lawsuit will cost nothing to the county. The county's only involvement is the time given by county employees subpoenaed to give depositions. However, Monday said this lawsuit has already cost her several hundred dollars.

Trial information Who: Plantiff Frank DeMarco of American Administrators vs. Defendant Lois Monday What: Civil lawsuit When: Dec. 10, 2012 Where: Union County Courthouse Attorneys: DeMarco: Mark Sherinian; Monday: A. Zane Blessum

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