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Marsh pilot says he flew former CEO to see mistresses

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Don Marsh’s personal pilot told jurors Monday morning that he ferried the former CEO of Marsh Supermarkets Inc. to New York City at least twice a month in a year’s span to visit one of his mistresses.

Pat Boggs began working for Marsh Supermarkets on a contract basis in 1995 and became the locally based supermarket chain’s chief pilot in August 2000, the same year he says he frequently flew Don Marsh to New York City.

Marsh’s trips, many of them via the company jet, are at the crux of a civil lawsuit brought by the supermarket chain. It accuses him of using company funds to pay more than $3 million in personal expenses. Marsh, 75, spent 38 years leading the public company before it was purchased by Florida-based Sun Capital in September 2006.

Don Marsh has testified that he put Nadia Kovarskaya up in a New York City apartment as he considered whether Marsh Supermarkets should sponsor a U.S. tour of her Russian ice ballet.

Boggs told jurors that he flew Marsh to see Kovarskaya at least twice a month during 2000, and shuttled her to Indianapolis once. Kovarskaya is listed among the dozens of witnesses expected to testify, either in person or by written deposition, in the trial expected to conclude at the end of the week. The federal court proceedings began Feb. 4.

The pilot also testified that he flew Marsh to Smyrna, Tenn., about five times. Though Boggs said he didn’t know the reason for the trips, Marsh has testified he frequently visited an old high school friend there with whom he also had an affair. He also has admitted to at least two other flings.

Becky Foxworthy, Don Marsh’s former travel manager, also testified Monday morning. She left the company in September 2006, after the sale to Sun Capital.

Sun Capital terminated Don Marsh’s contract “without cause” when it took over, then stopped paying his severance in 2008, after it claims it discovered the extent of personal expenses charged to the company.

Don Marsh is countersuing Marsh Supermarkets, asserting the company improperly halted his post-retirement payouts in 2008 and owes him more than $2 million.

Also testifying Monday morning was Patricia Allen, a current Marsh employee who once served as the administrative assistant to Marsh’s son David. He worked under his father as president.

Marsh Supermarkets launched a legal fight against David in 2006 after he sued the company, alleging it shorted him $102,000 on his $2.1 million severance package. The company shot back that he had used the company “as his personal checkbook,” submitting expenses from family trips, and must repay more than $750,000. The parties reached a confidential settlement in 2007.

Monday morning’s proceedings followed testimony from a key witness Friday.

Stephen Huse, an owner of St. Elmo Steakhouse and former director of Marsh Supermarkets, said Friday that he recalled that Don Marsh had resisted a sale to Sun Capital, even though the company was in serious financial trouble.

“We couldn’t get his focus on the sale as much as we wanted to, and his travel was too much,” Huse said. “We needed him there seven days a week, 13 to 14 hours a day.”

As the sale of the company neared, directors attempted to reel in Marsh’s extensive travel by only reimbursing him for trips within Indiana and to Illinois and Ohio, where Marsh had stores.

During his testimony, Huse said he has the utmost respect for Marsh and trusted him to reimburse the company for personal expenses. He said directors were more concerned about company revenue and profits and left management to oversee expenses.

Huse told the jury that most every trip Marsh took included some element of business.

“Don didn’t lay around beaches or go to bars,” Huse said. “Don can’t relax. It’s not in his DNA. That’s just the way he is.”

Originially published in the IBJ Daily, a sister publication to Indiana Lawyer.

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  1. How nice, on the day of my car accident on the way to work at the Indiana Supreme Court. Unlike the others, I did not steal any money or do ANYTHING unethical whatsoever. I am suing the Indiana Supreme Court and appealed the failure of the district court in SDIN to protect me. I am suing the federal judge because she failed to protect me and her abandonment of jurisdiction leaves her open to lawsuits because she stripped herself of immunity. I am a candidate for Indiana Supreme Court justice, and they imposed just enough sanction so that I am made ineligible. I am asking the 7th Circuit to remove all of them and appoint me as the new Chief Justice of Indiana. That's what they get for dishonoring my sacrifice and and violating the ADA in about 50 different ways.

  2. Can anyone please help this mother and child? We can all discuss the mother's rights, child's rights when this court only considered the father's rights. It is actually scarey to think a man like this even being a father period with custody of this child. I don't believe any of his other children would have anything good to say about him being their father! How many people are afraid to say anything or try to help because they are afraid of Carl. He's a bully and that his how he gets his way. Please someone help this mother and child. There has to be someone that has the heart and the means to help this family.

  3. I enrolled America's 1st tax-free Health Savings Account (HSA) so you can trust me. I bet 1/3 of my clients were lawyers because they love tax-free deposits, growth and withdrawals or total tax freedom. Most of the time (always) these clients are uninformed about insurance law. Employer-based health insurance is simple if you read the policy. It says, Employers (lawyers) and employees who are working 30-hours-per-week are ELIGIBLE for insurance. Then I show the lawyer the TERMINATION clause which states: When you are no longer ELIGIBLE! Then I ask a closing question (sales term) to the lawyer which is, "If you have a stroke or cancer and become too sick to work can you keep your health insurance?" If the lawyer had dependent children they needed a "Dependent Conversion Privilege" in case their child got sick or hurt which the lawyers never had. Lawyers are pretty easy sales. Save premium, eliminate taxes and build wealth!

  4. Ok, so cheap laughs made about the Christian Right. hardiharhar ... All kidding aside, it is Mohammad's followers who you should be seeking divine protection from. Allahu Akbar But progressives are in denial about that, even as Europe crumbles.

  5. Father's rights? What about a mothers rights? A child's rights? Taking a child from the custody of the mother for political reasons! A miscarriage of justice! What about the welfare of the child? Has anyone considered parent alienation, the father can't erase the mother from the child's life. This child loves the mother and the home in Wisconsin, friends, school and family. It is apparent the father hates his ex-wife more than he loves his child! I hope there will be a Guardian Ad Litem, who will spend time with and get to know the child, BEFORE being brainwashed by the father. This is not just a child! A little person with rights and real needs, a stable home and a parent that cares enough to let this child at least finish the school year, where she is happy and comfortable! Where is the justice?

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