Feathered Bastard

Condumbass strikes again! Gary Condit ordered to pay the scrappy Sonoran News over $42K.

Former Congressman Gary Condit loses again in court to the Sonoran News .

Here's an update to my July post "What a Condumbass! Linda Bentley, Gary Condit and the Sonoran News," wherein I documented the gooberish legal maneuverings of former Congressman Gary Condit, who now lives in the Valley, like just about every other has-been in the U.S. Condit'd sued the free wing-nut weekly Sonoran News over a throwaway line in an '05 article by journo Linda Bentley about Condit's bro Darrell Wayne Condit. In July, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Kristin Hoffman booted the boneheaded tort claim out of court. And last week, she awarded Sonoran News $42,680.42 in legal fees and court costs to be paid by Condumbass Condit.

What a schmuck! Wanna see the line Condit sued over? Here it be: “Condit, whose real name is Darrell Wayne Condit, is the younger brother of former Democratic Congressman Gary Condit, who became the main focus of the Chandra Levy case in 2001, after lying to investigators about his affair with Levy.”

In July, Hoffman commented in her decision that, "Substantial truth is an absolute defense in a defamation case." Ouch.

It gets worse. Check out the language of Hoffman's Sept. 24 ruling:

Applying an objective standard, the Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that Plaintiff’s claim is groundless.

The Court finds that Plaintiff’s failure to deny that he lied to authorities in his affidavit and his refusal to answer interrogatories regarding whether or not he admitted or denied to authorities that he had a romantic and/or sexual relationship with Chandra Levy are evidence that he was aware the lawsuit should not have been brought. He failed to provide information that would establish the truth or falsity of the statement at issue in this litigation. Proving the falsity of the statement by clear and convincing evidence was an essential element of his cause of action. The Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that his actions in bringing this lawsuit constituted harassment, and that the lawsuit was not brought in good faith.

Hoffman points out that the Sonoran News is "a small newspaper" and has "no insurance to cover the cost of defending this lawsuit." Instead, "the defense of this lawsuit has been financed from the personal funds of its editor and publisher." Thus, reimbursement was deserved.

That editor/publisher is Don Sorchych, and though he and his paper may be full of horse biscuits on the subject of illegal immigration, he deserves a case of Skittles for employing reporter Linda Bentley, who -- for instance -- stays on Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tail like a Tennessee bluetick after a wounded raccoon. Condit stuck his head in the hornets nest on this one. If he'd keep his lawyer in check instead suing people left and right, he'd stay forgotten. Instead, every time he files a complaint, his name resurfaces on the AP like a bad case of herpes. Makes ya wonder, don't it?

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons