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State Grand Jury indicts Mayor of Superior

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Posted at 2:04 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 17:07:36-04

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has announced a State Grand Jury has issued an indictment against Jayme Valenzuela, the mayor of the town of Superior. 

Valenzuela has been charged with one count of Theft, a class 5 Felony. 

The Town Council of Superior hired an auditor who determined that Valenzuela used the town's debt card on eight separate occasions to obtain a total of $2300 in cash between August 2013 and December 2014. 

Authorities say two of the withdrawals at the Wild Horse Pass Casino and the other six withdrawals happened at various bank machines in Maricopa and Pinal Counties. 

Upon completion of the audit, authorities say Valenzuela repaid the funds.

Valenzuela was served with a summons to appear in court August 4 at 8:30 a.m. in Phoenix.

Authorities say this case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Sheila Madden. 

Valenzuela also worked for the Pinal County Jail as a commander. 

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office says in February the town of Superior gave them a courtesy notification of the allegations. 

When PCSO learned of the criminal investigation, Sheriff Babeu placed Valenzuela on a paid administrative reassignment, pending the outcome of the Attorney General's investigation. During this time, PCSO verified that while Valenzuela did have a Pinal County issued credit card, there were no inappropriate charges. 

PCSO was notified Friday by the Attorney General's Office that Jayme Valenzuela was indicted for criminal charges as a result of their investigations into allegations of theft from Superior. 

After PCSO reviewed the indictment, Sheriff Paul Babeu immediately notified Valenzuela that his employment with PCSO was terminated. 

Valenzuela serves as an "at-will" employee which carries no rights to appeal the decision.