Ex-Superior mayor Jayme Valenzuela now set to go to trial on theft charges on Feb. 21

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Jayme Valenzuela

  Feb. 21 is the new date when former Superior Mayor Jayme Valenzuela will go to trial on charges that he used the town debit card to make more than $2,300 in personal withdrawals during his term in office.

  Originally scheduled to begin on Dec. 20, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Cunanan granted a continuance at the request of Valenzuela’s defense attorney Gary Husk. No reason was given for requesting the postponement.

  Following a final pretrial conference on Feb. 13, the trial is now expected to begin on Feb. 21 in Arizona Superior Court, 175 W. Madison in Phoenix. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Sheila Madden.

  Valenzuela stands accused of one count of theft (a class 5 felony) for making eight personal withdrawals totaling more than $2,300 from the Superior town debit card between August 2013 and December 2014. The withdrawals were made public in December 2015 by former Superior Town Clerk Rachelle Sanchez in testimony at a meeting of the Superior Town Council. Her report was later verified by the auditing firm of Colby & Powell LLC and the Special Investigations Section (SIS) of the Arizona Office of the Attorney General.

  The SIS investigation, as reported last summer in the Superior Sun, alleged that Valenzuela carried the town debit card with himself instead of returning to the Superior Town Hall between uses as is policy, and used the card on eight occasions when his personal banking card was low on funds. These transactions were not reported.

  The SIS report charged that the reason Valenzuela’s personal banking card was low on funds was due to an addiction to gambling. It is alleged that two of the transactions were at an ATM in the Wild Horse Pass Casino in Chandler.

  If convicted of the charges, Valenzuela faces a maximum penalty of 2 years/6 months in jail, though he could get only probation if the jury finds his returning the funds in two installments in the month following the Sanchez revelations a mitigating factor.

  Valenzuela has already paid a price for his actions. Following his indictment on theft charges in early July 2016 he was terminated from his high-paid job as a commander overseeing contracts and supplies at the Pinal County Detention Center in Casa Grande. Voters in Superior also removed him as mayor in a recall election last Aug. 30.

James Hodl (101 Posts)

James J. Hodl is a career journalist who has worked for newspapers, magazines and trade journals. A graduate of Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism, Hodl began his career as a reporter with the Palatine (IL) Herald and the Morton Grove (IL) Review before becoming editor of the trade publication Appliance Service News. In recent years, Hodl has had articles published in Consumers Digest, Good Housekeeping, Home Remodeling, Kitchens & Baths and Salute; and has contributed to trade publications serving the home furnishings, restaurant and casino markets. A native of Chicago, Hodl relocated to San Tan Valley in 2013.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Sinema Meets with Mayor of Superior, Arizona

    October 25th, 2019
    by

    WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator met with Mayor Mila Besich of Superior, Arizona to discuss local projects and ways to expand […]


    Superior Optimist Club is calling all witches to brunch

    September 12th, 2019
    by

      Fall is in the air, the smell of green chiles and pumpkin spice surround and that means it is […]


    Panthers roll to season-opening win

    September 12th, 2019
    by

      The Superior football team began the defense of its state championship with a performance reminiscent of many of its […]


    Bagdad ends Panthers’ winning streak

    September 12th, 2019
    by

      Dating back to last season, the Superior football team entered last Friday’s game at Bagdad riding a 12-game winning […]


  • Additional Stories

    Superior High School students prepare for college

    September 12th, 2019
    by

      Students at the Superior High School had the opportunity to meet with local and regional colleges last week.  The […]


    Copper Corridor High School Volleyball Scoreboard

    September 12th, 2019
    by

    Sept. 3 Ray – 3, Academy of Tucson – 0  Immaculate Heart – 3 (25-23, 23-25, 11-25, 25-18,15-11), San Manuel […]


    September is National Preparedness Month! Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters

    September 12th, 2019
    by

    Welcome to Week 2 of a 4-part series on emergency and disaster preparedness.  As we discussed in Week 1, many […]


    Master Gardener Program coming to the Copper Corridor

    September 12th, 2019
    by

      The Oracle Community Learning Garden and the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension are partnering to offer the Master Gardener […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger