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Ex-Coconino County official gets jail for public funds misuse

A former Coconino County official who went on to oversee Navajo County’s health department was sentenced Wednesday to nine months in jail for misusing public money to cover more than $84,000 in personal expenses over a six-year span.

Jeffrey Preston Lee pleaded guilty last month to one felony count of theft and two felony counts of violating his duties as a custodian of public money.

His plea agreement called for probation on two of the three convictions and restitution payments of $82,500 to Coconino County and $1,700 to Navajo County.

Since the 47-year-old Lee was sentenced to probation on the third conviction, prosecutors said he was required to serve at least nine months in jail.