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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. Falk said “At this point, at this minute, we’ll savor this particular victory.” “It certainly is a historic week on this front,” Cockrum said. “What a delight ... “Happy Independence Day to the women of the state of Indiana,” WOW. So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)

  2. congratulations on such balanced journalism; I also love how fetus disposal affects women's health protection, as covered by Roe...

  3. It truly sickens me every time a case is compared to mine. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld my convictions based on a finding of “hidden threats.” The term “hidden threat” never appeared until the opinion in Brewington so I had no way of knowing I was on trial for making hidden threats because Dearborn County Prosecutor F Aaron Negangard argued the First Amendment didn't protect lies. Negangard convened a grand jury to investigate me for making “over the top” and “unsubstantiated” statements about court officials, not hidden threats of violence. My indictments and convictions were so vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals made no mention of hidden threats when they upheld my convictions. Despite my public defender’s closing arguments stating he was unsure of exactly what conduct the prosecution deemed to be unlawful, Rush found that my lawyer’s trial strategy waived my right to the fundamental error of being tried for criminal defamation because my lawyer employed a strategy that attempted to take advantage of Negangard's unconstitutional criminal defamation prosecution against me. Rush’s opinion stated the prosecution argued two grounds for conviction one constitutional and one not, however the constitutional true threat “argument” consistently of only a blanket reading of subsection 1 of the intimidation statute during closing arguments, making it impossible to build any kind of defense. Of course intent was impossible for my attorney to argue because my attorney, Rush County Chief Public Defender Bryan Barrett refused to meet with me prior to trial. The record is littered with examples of where I made my concerns known to the trial judge that I didn’t know the charges against me, I did not have access to evidence, all while my public defender refused to meet with me. Special Judge Brian Hill, from Rush Superior Court, refused to address the issue with my public defender and marched me to trial without access to evidence or an understanding of the indictments against me. Just recently the Indiana Public Access Counselor found that four over four years Judge Hill has erroneously denied access to the grand jury audio from my case, the most likely reason being the transcription of the grand jury proceedings omitted portions of the official audio record. The bottom line is any intimidation case involves an action or statement that is debatably a threat of physical violence. There were no such statements in my case. The Indiana Supreme Court took partial statements I made over a period of 41 months and literally connected them with dots… to give the appearance that the statements were made within the same timeframe and then claimed a person similarly situated would find the statements intimidating while intentionally leaving out surrounding contextual factors. Even holding the similarly situated test was to be used in my case, the prosecution argued that the only intent of my public writings was to subject the “victims” to ridicule and hatred so a similarly situated jury instruction wouldn't even have applied in my case. Chief Justice Rush wrote the opinion while Rush continued to sit on a committee with one of the alleged victims in my trial and one of the judges in my divorce, just as she'd done for the previous 7+ years. All of this information, including the recent PAC opinion against the Dearborn Superior Court II can be found on my blog www.danbrewington.blogspot.com.

  4. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  5. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

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