Pre-trial conference set for man charged with not paying employees
INCLINE VILLAGE – A pre-trial conference is scheduled March 17 for Incline resident Bob DeMaio, former owner of Dot1Web. DeMaio pleaded not guilty Monday to 67 misdemeanor counts of failing to pay former employees of his Dot1Web Internet company.
DeMaio sat quietly as his attorney John Springate, who was also representing DeMaio’s other company Lowestbids.com, doing business as Dot1Web, entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of DeMaio and the company.
After completion of the brief hearing before Judge James Mancuso, DeMaio walked quickly from the courtroom as six of the former employees who filed complaints against him looked on.
“I’m glad to see it finally coming to court,” Pat Ross, one of DeMaio’s former employees said.
DeMaio is charged with failing to pay wages owed to almost 100 employees of his company who were unexpectedly laid off last December, a move all of them said caught them unprepared.
“We didn’t know it was going to happen,” said former employee Corinne Petra. “In fact, we had a Christmas party at the Hyatt. We thought things were going OK.”
“If he had just laid us off, given us some kind of notice, 80 percent of this could have been avoided,” said Oscar Salgado, another former employee.
Back salary is not the only thing DeMaio reneged on, according to Petra.
“Our health benefits also were affected,” said Petra, claiming that DeMaio didn’t pay the bill for their health or medical insurance.
“He also told us that we’d get an employee referral bonus of $100 for anybody we recruited. I brought in a friend, but I never got the bonus,” she said.
“I know he must have money. How is he paying $6,000 a month rent?” Petra asked, referring to DeMaio’s Vivian Lane home in Incline Village.
Constable Joe Kubo, who was talking with the former employees after DeMaio’s arraignment said he serves an eviction notice to DeMaio’s residence almost every month.
“Somehow Mr. DeMaio comes up with his rent and stems the tide for another month,” Kubo said.
The current counts against DeMaio are only the beginning, said Department of Labor Commissioner Michael Tanchek.
“The 67 counts comprise only the first group of complainants against Mr. DeMaio,” Tanchek said. “We are processing more, and if this group falls out, we’ll bring in the next wave.”