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Coconino and Navajo Counties—Criminal Indictment—Theft and Misuse of Public Monies


As part of their responsibility to prevent and detect fraud, Coconino County officials took appropriate action by reporting to us an allegation of financial misconduct by Jeff Lee, former Public Health Emergency Preparedness program manager II. Our investigation revealed that from July 2013 through April 2017, Mr. Lee allegedly used his Coconino County purchasing card to make 237 personal purchases totaling $82,550, recording false transaction descriptions in Coconino County’s accounting software to help conceal his actions. Mr. Lee allegedly continued this unlawful practice at Navajo County where he was hired as Public Health Services health director in April 2017. Navajo County officials determined that from August 2017 through March 2020, Mr. Lee used his Navajo County purchasing card to make 135 purchases totaling $9,148 that lacked supporting and/or public purpose documentation, and they requested and received reimbursement from him. Of those 135 Navajo County purchases, we determined Mr. Lee allegedly recorded false information in Navajo County’s accounting software for 6 personal purchases totaling $1,762, helping to conceal his actions. We have submitted our report to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which on December 15, 2020, presented evidence to the State Grand Jury. The action resulted in Mr. Lee’s indictment on 16 felony counts related to theft, misuse of public monies, and fraudulent schemes.