Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Tirrell: A divorce, a lawsuit — and another bankruptcy?


Marty Tirrell update:

1. A $350,000 suit against him has been reinstituted in Houston, Texas.

2. His wife was granted a divorce on March 24. He did not show up in court.

3. And, according to the divorce papers, he plans to file bankruptcy again.

First, the suit. Gow Broadcasting runs a sports-radio network, and in late 2012 it made a deal for Tirrell to host a show. “Tirrell represented that he had a pool of advertisers for the show who would want to purchase advertising time on Gow’s national network,” according to the lawsuit in the district court of Harris County, Texas. Tirrell and Gow would split the revenue. Gow also advanced Tirrell $69,000 to “cover certain promotional expenses he wanted to incur in connection with the 2013 Masters Golf tournament” in Georgia.

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It didn’t exactly work out, at least not for Gow. “By July 2013, Tirrell owed Gow over $320,000 in unpaid advertising invoices and advancements,” the lawsuit said. It turns out, the lawsuit alleges, Tirrell was collecting some of the money but wasn’t sharing it. So it sued for $350,000 or so. A trial was set for November of last year, but before the trial, in August of last year, Tirrell and his wife — make that his then-wife — filed for protection under the bankruptcy laws, so the suit was put on hold.

But the bankruptcy petition was dismissed when it was discovered Tirrell had left out a few big debts he owed, hadn’t documented that his tax returns had been filed (in fact, the government has liens against him for not filing), and proposed living expenses “which appear excessive.” His debts exceeded the amount allowable under the provision of the Bankruptcy Act he was using. The case was officially closed on Dec. 29.

The filing for bankruptcy protection automatically stopped any lawsuits against Tirrell, but the dismissal of the petition allowed the suits to be reinstituted. So on Jan. 26, the Texas court allowed the suit back on the docket. A trial date has not been set, but pleadings must be filed by June 26 of this year.

Second, the divorce. Stephanie Gifford and Marty Tirrell were married on Dec. 2, 2010, but the marriage had fallen apart and there was “no reasonable likelihood” it could be put back together, according to her petition for divorce filed last Oct. 30 in Dallas County district court. On March 24, the court granted the divorce after Tirrell basically ignored the proceedings. He didn’t file an answer, and he didn’t file any documents required at the pretrial conference (child support worksheet, financial affidavit and the like). “The court finds he is in default and enters this decree,” Judge Randy V. Hefner wrote.

Stephanie Tirrell, who was allowed to resume her maiden name, was awarded “sole legal care, custody and control” of the Tirrells’ daughter, who was born in 2011. Terrell may — the court emphasized the word “may” — have parenting time “from time to time.” Marty Tirrell, who makes $90,000 a year, according to the document, is to pay $1,031 a month in child support, with the money garnished from his salary, and must pay for medical insurance for the child.

Stephanie Tirrell gets the couple’s condominium in Waukee, and Marty Tirrell keeps the house on 75th Street in West Des Moines. They each get a car.

Third, the new bankruptcy. The divorce decree noted that “it is anticipated that each party will subsequently file bankruptcy.” Under the law, the Tirrells cannot file for bankruptcy until 180 days after the dismissal of the previous bankruptcy petition, which means it will be around June 30 before either can file.

Stephanie Tirrell filed a financial statement as part of the proceedings, and it indicated the Tirrells had debts of $492,731.63. However, it listed as “unknown” the money owed under two judgments against Marty Tirrell, though court documents indicate those total around $300,000. It also listed a debt of $330,000 in the Gow Broadcasting case, though that case hasn’t yet gone to trial.

Marty Tirrell, who has worked for various radio stations in the Des Moines market, recently moved to “the Champ,” an AM station at 1700, where he and Ken Miller have an afternoon talk show. …

From a summary of a pleading in a case filed the other day in federal court in Cedar Rapids by Ob-Gyn Associates against Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc.:

“Contract. Defendant should not suspend plaintiff’s access to its medical software package for non-payment because defendant has refused to address costly errors with the software, which included an incorrect billing phone number that connected customers to a sex hotline.”

A wag wondered if the suit was filed under the Tart Claims Act. …

Update: Mark Graziano, the Bauder’s pharmacist who was dealing drugs out the back door of his Ingersoll Avenue pharmacy, reported to Leavenworth on March 26, according to the office of the U.S. Attorney.  Lawyers, prosecutors and Federal Judge James Gritzner all had agreed to recommend Graziano serve his two-year sentence at the Federal prison in Yankton, S.D., but the Bureau of Prisons makes the ultimate call. “He has been designated to serve his entire sentence in Leavenworth,” according to U.S. Attorney Nick Klinefeldt, though he can serve the last few months in a halfway house or home confinement in Iowa. At Leavenworth, he has been assigned to the minimum-security camp.

Second update: Steve Luebke, onetime automobile sales manager and serial drunk driver, now is in the Clarinda Correctional Facility. His tentative discharge date is Nov. 8, 2017. …

Cityview joins those saddened by the death last week of Harriet Anderson, who loved animals and people. Mrs. Anderson, who was 95, was severely beaten by a young neighborhood thug who broke into the Andersons’ East Side home last July and killed her husband, Andy. CV


Comment: A good choice

The Board of Regents is about to name Jean Robillard, 71, the interim president of the University of Iowa.

It would be hard to find anyone better.

Robillard, a pediatric nephrologist, has been around Iowa City a long time. In 2003, he was named dean of the College of Medicine, and in 2007 he was made vice president for medical affairs — overseeing the medical school as well as the University Hospitals.

The place was a mess when he took over. The hospital was poorly run, and no one could figure out the financial relationships among the hospital, the medical college and the private practice plan that lets faculty doctors have private patients. Everyone was hiring consultants; at one point, the university hired a consultant to interpret reports from two other consultants. Parts of the hospital were getting a little seedy.

He brought logic, honesty, common sense and much brainpower to the job, bringing in new people who had the same traits he had. Today, the medical school excels, and the hospital — with its new $300 million Children’s Hospital set to open next year — is prospering while serving Iowans rich and poor.

Robillard, who is heading the search committee for a new president, is a friend of Gary Fethke, the business school dean who was interim president for 18 months in 2006 and 2007, who helped engineer the management change that put all things medical under one man, and who in 18 months accomplished more than some presidents do in five or 10 years.

Fethke said he wouldn’t take the permanent presidency if it were offered to him.

Robillard says the same thing.

That’s how smart these guys are. CV

— Michael Gartner

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