Desert Advocate racks up more liens

By Linda Bentley | December 3, 2008

Criminal charges dropped against Seemeyer
NEW RIVER – According to the clerk at the East Mesa Justice Court, the criminal charges filed against Karen Seemeyer for writing three bad checks were dismissed the day before her arraignment hearing because she paid the restitution.

The November trustee sale of Karen and Thomas Seemeyer’s home was cancelled. The lien holder said the home is in active foreclosure and the sale has been rescheduled for December.

The Seemeyers, who owned the Desert Advocate, have been locked out of their office for some time now and the receiver appointed in the Freedom Arizona Information foreclosure suit has sent out letters to some of their former advertisers attempting to collect on “outstanding invoices” advertisers claim they do not owe.

In fact, some former Desert Advocate advertisers were completely unaware the Seemeyers ceased publishing over four months ago and said they were still receiving and paying on invoices each month for ads that obviously never ran.

Former employee Kathy Cramer received a ruling in her favor earlier this year from the Labor Department of the Industrial Commission of Arizona against the Desert Advocate for $1,239 in wages owed.

Because the Seemeyers failed to pay as ordered within ten days, the Seemeyers are now liable for treble the amount of unpaid wages or $3,717.

Cramer is low woman on the totem pole in a long line of lien holders who will probably never see a dime.

The town of Cave Creek filed to foreclose against the Desert Advocate last year to collect on two sales tax liens owed. In September, Desert Advocate Attorney Gregory Robinson was granted his motion to withdraw as counsel.

Two weeks ago, however, during a status conference, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Bethany G. Hicks noted the defendant was not represented by counsel, the court had neither heard from anyone on behalf of the Desert Advocate nor had it received a Notice of Substitution of Counsel.

Hicks wrote in her Minute Entry, “Let the record reflect that the court lodges the plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings to see if defendant obtains counsel,” adding as a note, “The parties are advised that failure to appear at a hearing may result in sanctions, including a default judgment.”

At this point in time, a judgment in favor of the town will simply end up as a document memorializing yet another debt owed by the Seemeyers and the Desert Advocate that will most likely never be collected.

But the liens just keep on coming, with the Arizona Department of Economic Security as the latest filed against the Desert Advocate in the amount of $36,689.19 for failure to pay unemployment tax from April 1, 2005 through March 31, 2008.

That should bring all who have been asking up to date on the Seemeyers.