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Ex-Arizona county official out of jail due to COVID-19

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Posted at 3:52 PM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 17:52:10-05

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A former Coconino and Navajo county official serving jail time for siphoning thousands of dollars in public money is back home for now because of COVID-19 spread.

A Coconino County judge granted Jeffrey Preston Lee’s request Thursday to temporarily carry out his sentence at home, the Arizona Daily Sun reported. He will return in six months and the court will decide if it’s safe for him to go back to jail.

His attorney, Ryan Stevens, originally argued Lee should finish the rest of his sentence at home. Stevens said nearly 140 inmates in Coconino County Detention Facility tested positive for the virus during a three-week period in January. Furthermore, his client has a heart condition that puts him more at risk if he gets COVID-19.

Detention Commander Matthew Figueroa declined to comment on Lee’s case. But he confirmed several positive cases that started the spread were in Lee’s housing unit.

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