David Farca has resigned his volunteer role as president of the Arizona-Mexico Commission as he remains embroiled in a lawsuit over his personal business dealings.
Governor Doug Ducey had appointed Farca to the unpaid position last year. The commission, a quasi-governmental, nonprofit state agency, works to bolster business relationships between Arizona and Mexico.
Farca's business problems, which Phoenix New Times enumerated in an article in October, spurred the Arizona United Soccer Club to boot him as its president in late November after only three months on the job.
Farca did not return a phone call seeking comment for this story.
Farca and his Scottsdale interior-design company, ToH Design Studio, are the defendants in a lawsuit filed by a local businessman who claims Farca kept $203,000 he was paid for renovation work on a vacation home in Cabo San Lucas. The plaintiff, Greg Hoyt, and Farca are fellow members of the prestigious Thunderbirds Charities, the group that hosts the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament, and Ducey is a former Thunderbirds board member.
In the lawsuit, Hoyt alleges that Farca and his company failed to complete the promised work on the Cabo home and displayed a "consistent pattern of dishonest conduct." Farca cashed Hoyt's checks, the lawsuit states, but didn't use the money as they'd agreed to pay Mexican workers or purchase and import furnishings for the home.
Although Ducey appointed him to the Arizona-Mexico Commission because of his entrepreneurial expertise, the evidence discovered in the lawsuit puts Farca's business acumen in a dubious light.
In one e-mail entered into evidence, Farca instructs an employee to tell Hoyt that construction stopped on the Cabo home in October 2015 because of Hurricane Patricia. But the hurricane hit mainland Mexico, not Baja California. In an e-mail to Hoyt two months later, Farca acknowledges that the renovation project had hit some snags, writing, "I am embarrassed and ashamed for what happened and want you to know that I will see this through until the last item is delivered and installed. I will also make it up to you and compensate you however you see fit...."
The suit alleges fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and breach of good faith and fair dealing. Hoyt is seeking $400,000 in refunds and punitive damages.
The lawsuit is scheduled for a status hearing in March.
As New Times reported previously, the Internal Revenue Service has levied federal liens amounting to tens of thousands of dollars on Farca and his company over the past year or so. (Hoyt's suit alleges that Farca used some of the renovation payments to pay down the debt.)
In a statement released to New Times, Ducey's office expressed regret about Farca's departure.
"David Farca's leadership has been critical to our improved partnership with Mexico. Since day one, he's volunteered his time, talent and energy, and his performance has been outstanding. We thank him for his service and we remain committed to carrying on the work to strengthen collaboration with our largest trading partner."
The office offered no indication why Farca resigned.
Last month, in its statement announcing Farca's dismissal, the Arizona United Soccer Club wrote that "Farca's pre-existing business commitments were distracting him from giving the Club his full attention."
Farca's departure marks the fourth time a Ducey-appointed agency head has resigned or been forced out this year.