Day 2: DeMarco claims Monday cost him $807,440 in potential business
Frank DeMarco swiveled his roller chair in the direction of the eight jurors who will give a verdict in his case against Lois Monday later this week.
DeMarco made eye contact with the jurors Tuesday morning, and told them, according to his calculations, the "toxic" remarks made by Monday in 2009 — including him being a crook, liar, criminal and thief — severely injured his reputation in southwest Iowa, preventing him from gaining business at Greater Regional Medical Center and Ringgold and Audubon counties.
All told, DeMarco said the damage Monday caused to his reputation cost him $807,440 in potential business.
"I don't expect to recover all of that," DeMarco told the jury, "because I do understand there is risk involved, and there wasn't a 100 percent chance I would have got all those accounts."
DeMarco stated Tuesday he didn't make presentations at Greater Regional Medical Center because he was told by GRMC administration his presentation would go "nowhere" because his reputation had been damaged by Monday's comments and letters to the editor. DeMarco said for similar reasons he did not make a presentation in Audubon County.
DeMarco said he did make a presentation at Ringgold County and was the low-bidder, but was not granted the account.
Monday's attorney A. Zane Blessum asked why he feels he lost business, specifically, at Greater Regional Medical Center and Audubon County when DeMarco failed to even give a presentation.
"It's like in baseball," Blessum said, "if you don't swing the bat, how can you expect to get a hit?"
Creston City Clerk Lisa Williamson took the stand at approximately 11:05 a.m. Tuesday.
Williamson testified regarding the phone call that occurred between her and Monday in August 2009.
Williamson told the jury DeMarco was present in her office at the time of the call and Monday was talking loud enough for DeMarco to hear the conversation.
"I don't remember the specifics of our conversation, but the comments made (by Lois) were demeaning to Mr. DeMarco," Williamson said. "DeMarco seemed surprised, shocked and possibly embarrassed from the remarks. He may have even turned a little red."
Williamson confirmed Monday did call DeMarco a crook during the conversation. Williamson said the conversation between her and Monday ended when she transferred the call to City Administrator Mike Taylor.
Mike King, former county supervisor in Union County, took the stand at approximately 11:40 a.m. He spoke about the "professional manner" of DeMarco during his tenure, describing DeMarco as "just a good guy."
King spoke specifically about the wellness portion of DeMarco's health-insurance plan.
King gave his personal feelings about Monday, stating "she doesn't know where to draw the line" and was "a lady who attacked people for several years and finally a businessman (DeMarco) said enough is enough."
County Supervisor Bob Jansen took the stand at about 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Jansen confirmed he has heard Monday call DeMarco a crook and she had also "implied DeMarco was a thief and that he was taking money from the county."
Supervisor Ron Riley took the stand at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. He testified he had heard Monday call DeMarco a crook.
Supervisor Dennis Brown took the stand at about 3:50 p.m. Tuesday and testified he, too, had heard Monday make negative comments about DeMarco that attacked his character. Brown said he never heard the words crook, liar or criminal, but did remember Monday calling DeMarco the "Italian stallion" once.
Jansen, Riley and Dennis Brown all testified neither Monday's comments nor letters to the editor swayed their vote when the county decided to switch from DeMarco's company to Bernie Lowe & Associates last year.
Current chairman of the Union County Board of Supervisors Bob Brown testified 4:10 p.m. Tuesday.
He testified that over his 28 years on the board, the county has always struggled to keep a good fund balance in their health-insurance administered by DeMarco. Brown said one time, in fact, the fund balance was in the negative and the board was forced to use taxpayer dollars to replenish the fund and pay claims.
Brown said that's why he voted to change health-insurance administrators in May 2011 to Bernie Lowe & Associates of Ankeny. Brown testified neither Monday's comments nor letters to the editor swayed his vote when the county decided to switch from DeMarco's company to Bernie Lowe & Associates last year.
Brown said under Bernie Lowe the fund balance is positive and will remain that way. Brown said the switch also saved the county $5,000 per employee in health-insurance budget costs last year alone.
The trial continues this morning at 9 a.m. and is scheduled through Thursday.
The Creston News Advertiser will provide updates in its print edition daily and check for updates on the website at www.crestonnews.com throughout the day as details become available.
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