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Former Arizona Mayor Pleads Guilty To Attempted Theft

The former mayor of the tiny town of Superior is facing probation after pleading guilty to attempted theft.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Jayme Valenzuela pleaded guilty to one felony count of attempted theft.

The investigation began when the Superior Town Council hired an auditor who determined whether Valenzuela used the town’s debit card on eight separate occasions to obtain more than $2,300. Valenzuela has said the withdrawals, which occurred August 2013 and December 2014, were done by accident.

Valenzuela was later fired from his job as a commander at the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and removed as mayor by a special election.

He faces a probation term of up to three years under the terms of his plea agreement and is scheduled to be sentenced May 3.

When senior field correspondent Stina Sieg was 22, she moved to the desert. She hasn’t been the same since. At the time, the Northern California native had just graduated from college and was hankering for wide-open spaces. So she took a leap and wrote to nearly every newspaper in New Mexico until one offered her a job. That’s how she became the photographer for a daily paper in the small town of Silver City. And that’s when she realized how much she loved storytelling. In the years since, the beauty of having people open up and share their stories — and trust her to tell them — has never gotten old to Sieg. Before coming to KJZZ, Sieg was also a writer and photographer at newspapers in Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Moab, Utah; and the Smoky Mountains town of Waynesville, North Carolina. She always had her hand in public radio, too, including hosting Morning Edition on a fill-in basis at WNCW in North Carolina. It’s still the best music station she’s found. When she’s not reporting, chances are Sieg is running, baking, knitting or driving to some far-flung town deep in the desert — just to see what it looks like.