HEBETS & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
Attorneys at Law
February 9, 2001
Re: Don Sorchych / Sonoran News / Selective Enforcement by the Town of Cave Creek
I am an Arizona native, an engineer and 24 years an Arizona attorney, with the last 9 years living and working here in the Cave Creek/Carefree area.
During the last 6 of those years I have observed Don Sorchych (or “Sorecheeks” to those of us who do not care for him), as the psychotic owner/publisher/editor of the Sonoran News establish what one local journalist with a Pulitzer prize calls: “a tyrany of the press”. Masquerading as a newspaper, the Sonoran News is his junk/hate mail tabloid that is placed at no charge into post office and mail boxes even though many many citizens would have the US Post Office refuse it if we could. He viciously, personally, dishonestly and repeatedly, i.e. relentlessly, attacks anyone who would oppose him, not just in his column, but through “articles” written by himself or his “reporters”, particularly Curtis Riggs.
There is a good reason that our freedoms of speech and the press are listed along with our
freedom of religion in the first amendment – the first portion of the Bill of Rights. These are our most important freedoms. And nothing makes freedom of the press do its work better than competition in the press. But the other local paper, the Foothill Sentinel, is one of about 2 dozen small town newspapers owned by a Yuma family that generally focus on who made eagle scout.
Over the last few years, they had one good editor come and go and one good reporter, but both lacked the backup from the home office necessary to get the job done.
As a result, Sorchych’s paper dominates the local news and continues to harm our community at the most critical moment of its growth by refusing to report the full truth or the real news or allow full open honest and considerate debate and discussion of the many critical issues at hand.
Through his relentless and personal attacks on those who would speak out against him, our
destiny is now controlled by his sick hatred and those who fear it.
Sadly enough this has allowed him to garner enormous power over this community, especially over the Town of Cave Creek. In the last council election, only a few weeks ago, 9 candidates ran for 7 seats, and his 6 puppets were elected to all 6 of the seats they sought, including mayor.
Most of the people sitting on the Board of Adjustment and the Planning & Zoning Commission likewise owe their position to him.
Fortunately, he has not yet seized such power amongst the more genteel and retired citizens of Carefree where he has only one of his puppets was elected to the council and another failed.
Likewise most of those sitting on the citizen boards or commissions are not under his control.
But the simple fact that he pushes the limits of the first amendment, has no real opposition from the other paper, and thereby holds enormous power in my community is not illegal. And as an attorney I certainly recognize this.
What I am concerned about is a growing number of reports of clearly selective enforcement by Town officials of the local zoning laws and such, outright failures to follow the statutory procedures in the Arizona law, and other irregularities. I also hear reports of conduct by Sorchych behind the scenes that is most disturbing, and I can give at least one example where I fully believe that the deputy county sheriffs (who provide our local law enforcement by contract with our town) pull back from proper enforcement of the criminal laws because of pressure from Sorchych or the Town.
Through the enclosed file memos and information provided therewith I intend to describe a number of these situations that I know or have heard about and that I feel deserve the attention of the FBI.
Noel J. Hebets