Hebets & Associates, P.C. File Memo
File: Information for the FBI on Local Irregularities
Date Prepared: 4/6/01
Re: Town Mayor – Vince Francia Prepared by: Noel J. Hebets, Attorney
At the end of the memo on Lester Rechlin and Town Manager, Usama Abujbarah, I discussed Sorchych’s relentless attacks on anyone who threatened Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s retention of his contract with the Town of Cave Creek to provide its law enforcement. As I explained, this included attacks on Howell “Hal” Conant while he was working as the first Town Marshal, and later, in 1999, when Hal ran against Vince Francia for the position of mayor through false accusations of murder that have led to the current libel suit in Maricopa County.
In contrast, Sorchych has remained entirely silent on an incident that involved Francia, and would be just as strong of a basis to eviscerate him. I discuss this incident not to raise a question of criminal activity by the mayor, but to question whether or not Sorchych uses this as a constant threat that keeps Francia in line.
In ___ Francia’s teenage stepdaughter was apparently ending a relationship with a young boy her own age, and he was taking it very hard. The stepdaughter said she had seen him hanging around the house as she boarded the bus for school in the morning. When she returned she immediately grew suspicious, and walked around the yard only to find his body on the ground.
The report by the deputy sheriff describes it as an apparent suicide by a .22 rifle found on the ground nearby, and describes an entry wound without tatooing in the rear of the head, and an exit wound right next to the eyelid. [Now visualize trying to shoot yourself in the back of the head with a .22 rifle that leaves no powder marks and travels in a level trajectory through your head.]
The same report is also devoid of any mention of Vince Francia, then a council member, as the stepfather or landowner. And the autopsy report reads like little more than: “Yup, he dunnit to hisself.” It does not refute the description of the entry and exit wounds in the deputy’s report.
The story never hit the paper in any detail, and, again, Sorchych has remained entirely silent.
Near the end of the 1999 Conant vs. Francia mayoral election, a local woman wanted the Foothills Sentinel to run a letter that questioned the imbalance of Sorchych’s repeated accusations of murder by Conant and Sorchych’s silence about this incident at Francia’s house. Francia got word of it, and went to see Cheryl Duncan, the publisher/editor of the paper at the time, trying to discourage her from printing it. Cheryl can definitely be trusted to talk to, and she not only researched the background to the story, but also visited with the dead boy’s parents.
Francia has also made comments in the last several months that he was afraid the story would surface again in the spring 2001 elections.
Again, this is not to raise suspicion of criminal conduct by Francia. Both children were known to be “Goths” at the time, a click known for their morbid interests.
But it does raise the question of whether or not Sorchych can use this as a club to hold over Francia’s head. It also raises the question of the shoddy police work done by the deputy sheriffs, and the possibility that they deliberately sanitized the report to keep Francia’s name out of it.