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April 2014



Nowak ordered to pay $2M

Nowak's properties foreclosed on, including Pier 347

Waukesha — Former City of Pewaukee Mayor Jeff Nowak has been ordered by a judge to pay more than $2 million to a bank, and his properties have been foreclosed upon, including the former restaurant Pier 347 in the Village of Pewaukee.

Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Ralph M. Ramirez ruled Jan. 26 in favor of M&I against Nowak and ordered him to pay $2,777,861, according to court records. That amount was what Nowak owed as of Sept. 9, 2010. Ramirez ordered Nowak to pay interest of $230 per day after Sept. 9, which totals to more than $33,000 by the end of January.

Court records show that Nowak did not appear at the hearing. In a letter to Ramirez, Nowak said he was unable to secure legal counsel, as numerous firms could not represent him because of conflict of interest issues with the bank.

Ramirez also ruled in favor of M&I for the foreclosure and sale of Nowak's properties.

The properties named are: 347 Park Ave., 357-359 Park Ave., 306 Oakton Ave., all in the Village of Pewaukee, N37 W26659 and N37 W26675 Kopmeier Drive, City of Pewaukee, 601 Ogdan Ave., Milwaukee, and W339 N5175 Road O, Nashotah.

M&I filed foreclosure suits in April 2009, claiming Nowak and his wife, Deborah, had not paid back loans they had taken out. The couple is in the process of getting a divorce, with Deborah Nowak now living in Florida, according to court records. Ramirez ruled that Deborah Nowak owes the bank $2,263,515 as of Sept. 9, plus interest of nearly $180 per day after that.

The Nowaks' restaurant, Pier 347, 347 Park Ave., has been closed since November. Last spring, Jeff Nowak partnered with Joseph T. Grasch of N37 W26655 Kopmeier Drive, City of Pewaukee, to reopen the restaurant after it had been closed for the winter. The restaurant reopened under the name Rum Bar.

Jeff Nowak and Tom Pfister, a former Village of Pewaukee trustee, were business partners when they purchased the former La Chalet bar at 347 Park Ave. about a decade ago and converted it into a restaurant.

Pfister said Tuesday that partnership was short-lived and he has had nothing to do with the restaurant for about 10 years. Ramirez did rule Pfister must pay M&I $312,944, for a property at 337 Park Ave. that is jointly owned with Jeff Nowak.

Pfister said he has been trying to get his name removed from the suit and has been trying to get a quitclaim deed to Nowak. A quitclaim deed allows a person to disclaim any interest they may have in a piece of property.

"I've had not had anything to do with it for many years," Pfister said.

Pfister said he would not appeal the ruling.

Jeff Nowak's residence on Rocky Point Road in the City of Pewaukee, assessed at $2.1 million, is now listed to another couple, according to Waukesha County records. Nowak could not be reached for comment.

In addition, Ramirez ruled that a joint partnership between the Nowaks called JEDE LLC, must pay the bank $628,787, plus interest of $68 per day since Sept. 9.

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