By Kaitlyn Campbell
An Isabella County judge has dismissed some parts of a civil lawsuit that involves two would-be developers of a stalled healthcare park in Clare.
On Sept. 26, Judge Mark Duthie’s opinion and order dropped civil fraud, conspiracy and breach of contract accusations against David Coker but gave Anthony Demasi 21 days to file an amended civil complaint.
In dropping those allegations from the suit, Duthie noted that in one argument, a typo was in the original court filing that named the plaintiff “Goldman Advisors” instead of “Goldman Advisers,” alleging grounds for dismissal because “Goldman Advisors” does not exist and that the appropriate remedy would be to amend the spelling and not dismiss the entire complaint.
Demasi, who is currently charged in federal court in Bay City with bank fraud and identity theft, filed the suit back in March, accusing Coker of failing to pay his consulting business, Goldman Advisors, LLC, a portion of a contractually agreed upon amount for consulting on a project that the state halted earlier this year amid concerns about how a $25 million grant was awarded to Clare for a proposed health park.
According to court records, Charles E Chamberlain Jr., his attorney in the federal indictment, filed a motion in the U.S. District Court in Bay City in August to drop three of the six criminal charges Demasi is facing.
Demasi is asking for the balance of the $300,000 he says he is owed, according to court documents.
Coker, a onetime aide to former Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, is accused by Demasi of shorting him all but $37,000 of the money he says he is owed for the consulting work, which included helping write the grant that helped them get the money for the health park project, according to court records.
Coker, who owned IW Consulting but has since turned the company over to his daughter, is accused by Demasi of “scheming” to have his Complete Health Park, his non-profit, be awarded the project manager role in order to “skim off the grant money” with Wentworth for “their personal gain and benefit,” according to court records.
Wentworth has denied any involvement or knowledge of the innerworkings of the Complete Health Park.