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Former Coconino County Health Official Pleads Guilty To Misusing Public Money In Two Counties

Former Navajo County Health Services Director Jeffrey Lee pleaded guilty Monday to misusing public money Monday, while he worked in the Coconino County Health Department. Lee pleaded guilty to one count of theft and two counts of violating his duties as a custodian of public money. According to the state’s auditor general, Lee used the county’s credit card to make 237 purchases on personal items like electronics, camping gear, tools and weight loss suppliments. The purchases totaled around $84-thousand. Lee resigned from the Coconino County Health Department in 2017 and went to work for Navajo County soon after. In Navajo County, auditors found Lee made 135 suspicious purchases at places such as gas stations, restaurants and clothing stores. Lee was originally charged with 16 counts of theft, fraud and misuse of funds, but plea bargained down to one count of theft and two other charges. The plea agreement calls for probation on two of the three convictions and he must pay restitution to Coconino and Navajo counties. If he’s sentenced to probation on the third conviction, he will have to serve at least nine months in jail.