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Dot1web money woes continue

Rick Adair, Nevada Appeal News Service

INCLINE VILAGE — More than 60 wage claims against Incline Village Internet company Dot1web continue to be unpaid, despite assurances last week from company president and CEO Bob DeMaio the money would be available by Jan. 17.

Although Labor Commission spokeswoman Amanda Getzoff would not comment on specific claims, she said there was “nothing to report at this time” on them.

Most of the employees were laid off in mid-December.

DeMaio has refused to comment further on the apparent money problems surrounding his company.

“I need to focus my energy on the company,” DeMaio said Thursday. “There’s so much junk out there. We’ve turned the corner, and I’m through talking to the press about things in the hopper.”

Asked if he had secured new Incline Village office space, which he said last week was imminent, he wouldn’t comment. Dot1web was evicted from an Incline Way site in December.

None of more than 20 former Dot1web employees who were contacted has heard from either Dot1web or the Labor Commission about their back wages. Some report increasingly desperate situations, including evictions from apartments.

“If not for my landlord’s understanding, I’d be out on the street,” said Michelle Chaney, who worked in Dot1web’s data entry division. “Some I know haven’t been so lucky. And I’ve been looking for a job, but there just doesn’t seem to be any work out there.”

Patrick Ross, who said he was a software project manager, said in an unemployment claim that he hasn’t been paid for 240 hours he worked during five weeks for Dec. 27. He also said the mid-December layoffs affected about 90 of the company’s estimated 130 employees.

Wally Glassett, also on Dot1web’s technical staff, said he is owed a month’s pay, as well as benefits he was promised but never received. He also claimed the Employment Security Division, which pays unemployment benefits, is unable to find a record of his income from either Dot1web or its subsidiary Lowestbids.com, which he said paid most of his salary.

Karen Rhodes, spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said she could not comment on specific unemployment claims, but said a state trust fund covers situations where an employer has failed to make unemployment insurance fund.

Although DeMaio would not comment on the matter, judgments have been filed against Dot1web subsidiaries Drive4U.com and Lowestbids.com for failure to pay employee taxes and fees.

The Internal Revenue Service filed a claim in Washoe County last April against Drive4U.com for $12,242 in unemployment taxes due for the second quarter of 2000.

Nevada DETR won a $13,506 judgment in Douglas County district court last March against Lowestbids.com in outstanding unemployment compensation contributions.

Neither agency would comment on the matters.