Poplar Grove, IL. (ECWd) –
Owen Costanza is the former Mayor of Poplar Grove, Illinois, a former Precinct Committeeman and former Boone County Republican Party Chairman.
He was voted out of both offices at their most recent elections.
After losing the mayoral election, Costanza decided it might be a good idea to file a lawsuit against his winning opponent and others for things he alleges they said and did during the election cycle.
From the Motion to Dismiss Counts I, II, and III of the Complaint by several of the Defendants:
- these Counts seek recovery for alleged intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, and Costanza claimed he lost an insurance contract with Belvidere School District due to defendants’ actions.
- the Motion indicates there was never any proof provided to the court of any of the actions alleged against defendants.
- this Motion also states that Belvidere School District’s own meeting minutes from June 7, 2021, reflect they renewed insurance coverage with their current provider, and did not choose Flanders Insurance because “the coverages were not the same as we currently have, and the Co-op has a riskier profile that the Co-op the District is currently in. The proposed Co-op insures Cities, Counties, etc., and is made up largely of riskier first responder service entities.“
- Plaintiff, in the Complaint, alleged 13 specific defamatory statements made in a political flyer and an overall classification of Owen Costanza having a criminal record and being a repeat criminal (See Exhibit A)
- Even though Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss under the Illinois Citizen Participation Act (the SLAPP Act) was denied, in its denial the court found several of the complained of statements to be true, those include (See Exhibit B):
- In 1999, Costanza plead guilty to writing bad checks
- In 2000, Costanza suffered a home foreclosure in Boone County, Illinois
- In 2000, Costanza completed a bankruptcy filing
- In 2011, Costanza was terminated from RMS for misappropriation of company funds
- In 2014, the Illinois Department of Insurance investigated numerous complaints by insurance customers, past terminations, criminal history, unlawful fund withdrawals, and fines and discipline from Wisconsin and Indiana
- In 2014, Illinois revokes insurance business license for major violations
- In 2015, the Illinois Department of Insurance disciplined and fined Costanza $30,000 for multiple repeat violations
- The remaining allegations Costanza filed in the Complaint follow:
- Remaining allegation #1: In 1995, Costanza pleads guilty to filing a false police report in Boone County. He plead guilty to a Class B Misdemeanor relating to this charge (See Exhibit C for affirmation). Exhibit D includes three pages from the Boone County Court’s website showing Costanza’s guilty plea in case number 1995-CM-170 in exchange for court supervision and the court withholding of judgment
- Remaining allegation #2: Costanza was terminated from Liberty Insurance for Fraud Misrepresentation. Exhibit E shows three pages from the State of Wisconsin’s Commissioner of Insurance and filed by the Liberty Insurance Corporation setting forth that Costanza was terminated form Liberty Insurance and that the reason for his termination was “fraud” and “misrepresentation.” Additionally, Costanza’s affidavit does not dispute that he was terminated for fraud and misrepresentation, only that there was never a finding of fraud entered. Exhibit H is a letter to the State of Indiana where Costanza admits he was terminated for cause from an insurance agency
- Remaining allegation #3: Costanza plead guilty to drunk driving in Winnebago County, Illinois. Exhibit F is four pages from Winnebago Circuit Court which shows Costanza did enter a plea of guilty and the court later entered a “court supervision” disposition of the case. Additionally, Costanza’s affidavit indicates he did plead guilty to a Class C Misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol
- Remaining allegation #4: State of Wisconsin Department of Insurance denied insurance license for false application. Exhibit G shows the state’s Commissioner of Insurance Report from 2008 stating that Costanza has had his license denied for 31 days. This action was based on allegations of failing to disclose previous criminal convictions on an insurance license application and failing to disclose a company termination for allegations of misconduct.” Exhibit I is a letter and press release from the State of Wisconsin stating they denied Costanza’s license application. Exhibit J is a letter from Costanza to the State of Montana Licensing Department where he states the State of Wisconsin “denied” his application.
- Remaining allegation #5: In 2010 the Indiana Department of Insurance Fined Costanza $1,500 for false application and revoked his insurance license. Exhibit H confirms Indiana fined Costanza $1,500 in connection with the filing of an application for insurance license which contained three false statements, and an agreed entry was made by the State of Indiana, and Costanza agreed in a written entry to those false statements. In his own affidavit to this court, Costanza admits to the same. See Exhibit K for the revocation of Costanza’s insurance producer business entity license for RMS Service Group, which was revoked in Illinois in 2014.
- Remaining allegation #6: Costanza answers fraudulently again on Illinois Department of Insurance renewal Application. Exhibit K shows an Order of Dismissal and a Stipulation and Consent Order from the Illinois Department of Insurance with the signed and notarized signature of Costanza stating he failed to disclose previous criminal convictions and failed to disclose a company termination for allegations of misconduct in the State of Wisconsin, and that the State of Indiana filed an agreed entry for his failing to disclose similar information (also see Exhibit M)
- Remaining allegation that Costanza has a “criminal record” and is a “repeat criminal”: Defendants state that based on attached exhibits, it appears Costanza does, in fact, have a criminal record, having committed multiple crimes, including, but not limited to, pleading guilty to drunk driving, writing a bad check, and filing a false police report, as well as being terminated from an insurance agency for fraud and misrepresentation. Indiana found Costanza had a criminal record, Montana admitted he had misdemeanor convictions, and Wisconsin denied Costanza’s license for 31 days for failing to disclose his criminal convictions
We urge our readers to read the exhibits mentioned in the Motions to understand how defendants plead their case.