Yuma city employee back in court for allegedly stealing property

Yuma city employee back in court for allegedly stealing property

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Yuma, AZ- Hector Valenzuela went before Judge Yolanda Torok this afternoon.

He appeared in the Yuma Justice Court with normal clothes after posting a $10,000 bond earlier this week. The Yuma County Attorney's office filed a formal complaint against Valenzuela.

He's been charged with fraudulent schemes, trafficking in stolen property, and 2 counts of theft.

Valenzuela was arrested Tuesday morning after a month long investigation by the Yuma Police Department.

YPD says the investigation revealed the 42-year old had been stealing gas, lawn, and garden supplies from the City of Yuma.

They say they found $23,000 worth of stolen property in his Somerton home.

News 13 caught up with the City of Yuma to hear their take on the situation.

Dave Nash says the alleged actions of Valenzuela does not reflect the character of city employees.

"There's people that work very hard here for the City of Yuma. They live in the city and they don't want things like higher taxes or higher fees because they live here too. They are always looking out for each other to see ways we can save money, or how we can do a better job. It just takes one person like this to diminish that message and the efforts of all those people who work hard and it makes us all look bad," said Nash.

Nash says the evidence in this case is fairly substantial and he believes Valenzuela will soon no longer be an employee of the city.

Valenzuela is currently on administrative leave.

"Everything is under review. We're going back to square one to look at why this happened and how we can do things better from here on out," said Nash.

Valenzuela is due back in court in November.

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