CAPC turmoil: Attorney threatens legal action against Satori
An attorney representing Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission chairman Jeff Carter recently sent a cease and desist letter to former mayor Beau Satori, alleging that Satori has made “defamatory statements” about Carter and his wife, Heather.
Satori addressed the letter during public comments at the commission’s June 30 meeting. In his comments, Satori said Carter and commissioner Carol Wright have worked to “get rid of … employees that actually work for the city.”
“And now you’re in court and you’re losing,” Satori said. “Why are you still here?”
Satori added, “Chairman Carter, having your lawyer send me letters threatening me with litigation over my public comments is not doing your case any good and today your term expires and I would like to see you expire with it.”
In the letter dated June 11, 2021, attorney Katie Campbell writes that her firm represents Jeff and Heather Carter and their business, Eureka Springs Coffee House. Campbell writes that Satori’s alleged “false and defamatory statements, interference with the Carters’ business and other efforts that very clearly are calculated to harm the Carters” were referred to her for immediate handling and resolution.
“In particular, you have made statements that you are working to ‘find a bunch of dirt on Jeff Carter’ and intend to use this information, regardless of whether it is true, for the sole purpose of harming his reputation,” Campbell writes.
Campbell writes that Satori “falsely stated that Carter’s ‘backstabbing’ led for a $17 million lawsuit.” That is a reference to Satori’s public comments at the commission’s May 26 meeting, where he said Carter and Wright have sown discord in the community “through arrogance and micromanaging” that led to a lawsuit against them and other commissioners and city officials. Before Satori approached the mic to speak at the May 26 meeting, Carter could be heard saying, “Of course.”
Also in the letter, Campbell writes that Satori is allegedly leading a boycott of the Carters’ business.
“As a result of your actions, you have damaged and continue to damage both Mr. and Mrs. Carter’s reputations, as well as their business interests,” Campbell writes. “Your actions are willful and malicious, and therefore entitle the Carters to exemplary damages under Arkansas law should litigation be necessary.”
Campbell then demands that Satori cease and desist from making false statements about Carter, his business or his family. Should Satori fail to comply with the demand, Campbell writes, a lawsuit will be filed.
“Make no mistake — the Carters very vigorously will defend and protect their reputations and livelihood,” Campbell writes. “Should we receive any additional information that suggests your continuing wrongdoing, the Carters will not hesitate to initiate litigation against you.”
In a phone interview Tuesday, Satori said the letter is “just another instance of the commission trying to bully people who don’t agree with their actions.”
“And I am not one to be bullied and there is no evidence of me ever saying anything to anyone other than what I say under public comments,” Satori said. “I know that may be harsh to some people, but people need to answer for their actions. That’s my nature, to bring those things to the forefront.”
Satori said he has never said anything about Carter’s business and has no interest in it.
“I am only concerned with his actions on a city commission,” Satori said. “There is more of a problem with what the lawyer’s alleging in that letter than any evidence of what they’re accusing me of.”
Carter did not respond to a phone call and a text message asking for comment.