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AZ Politician Arrested on 93 Felony Charges, Allegedly Used Campaign Funds as Personal Slush Fund

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Phoenix, AZ -- Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley was arrested and booked into jail Monday morning by the Marciopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) on 93 felony counts and 7 misdemeanor counts.

According to the official statement from MCSO, Stapley's response when picked up by officers was, "you've got to be kidding me." That's because Stapley was indicted late last year on 118 counts for failing to disclose various financial dealings to the public. Almost half of those counts were thrown out in August, and Stapley's lawyer moved on Friday for the remainder of the case to be thrown out.

MCSO says these charges are new and unrelated to the case currently being appealed. They are the result of an eight month investigation, “Our investigation began in January of this year and concluded just days ago," says Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

MCSO says Stapley was engaged in "fraudulent schemes involving his mortgage and loan business, campaign account fraud, tax return fraud, and campaign fraud." Charges specifically allege that Stapley used campaign funds to pay personal bills and pad personal accounts.

Stapley has not been indicted by a grand jury. Rather, deputies filed charges and arrested Stapley based on probable cause. Neither the Maricopa County Attorney's Office nor the nearby Yavapai County Attorney's Office (both of whom were involved in the original case currently under appeal) were involved in today's arrest.

According to the local ABC affiliate, an unnamed source says charges include, "fraudulent schemes, prohibited acts of a public official, theft, and perjury," and that the charges "stem from monies that were allegedly transferred back and forth between several campaign accounts and personal accounts."

The source goes on to elaborate,

Supervisor Stapley allegedly used $100 from a political campaign account called “Stapley for Supervisor” to establish a separate campaign account called “Stapley for NACo” (National Association of Counties), according to an ABC15 source.

Stapley is on the board of directors of NACo.

According to the source, Stapley then raised more than $140,000 for the NACo account. Contributors included friends, local businesses, lobbyists, investment groups and a waste management company. The source said Stapley used some of those funds to pay for personal items like furniture and high-end electronics from Bang & Olufsen.

The source tells ABC15 the most serious charges against Stapley apparently stem from a loan he took out.

According
to the source, financial records reveal Supervisor Stapley transferred
tens of thousands of dollars from the NACo account to a personal
account so he could qualify for a loan.

After qualifying for the loan, Stapley allegedly transferred that money back to his Stapley for NACo account.


Stapley is currently in jail waiting for arraignment, which is expected to take place this afternoon.

UPDATE: Just talked to MCSO Spokeperson. It was the Yavapai County Attorney and MCSO who moved to dismiss the remainder of the charges (without prejudice) on the old case, not Stapley's attorney.

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