In a surprise turn of events, former city of Maricopa Community Services Director Marty McDonald posted a $50,000 bond and was released from jail Monday, Oct. 26.

McDonald had been in jail since Oct. 18, when Pinal County Superior Court Judge Janna Vanderpool served him with an indictment on five counts of fraud.

McDonald was in Vanderpool’s Florence courtroom trying to get two previous felony cases dismissed. One of them dealt with him allegedly taking money for himself that was supposed to have been used to buy sports equipment for the city.

At the hearing Vanderpool advised McDonald’s attorney, Clair Lane, that if he filed a motion for an evidentiary hearing and the state was not able to establish that a conviction was near certain on the new charges, bail would be set for McDonald.

Lane filed the paperwork shortly after McDonald’s incarceration, a hearing was held Monday and the state was not able to prove that there was high chance of conviction.

“It was the first time we got to question a witness in any of these cases and the judge ruled the county attorney’s office did not have significant evidence to keep my client incarcerated without bail,” Lane said. “It is a huge win for us.”

The new indictment alleges McDonald and current city employee David Aviles, who is on administrative leave, modified city of Maricopa records between Sept. 1, 2010 and Sept. 22, 2010 to make it appear that McDonald had purchased the athletic equipment.

However, Lane said all Aviles did was update the city’s inventory to reflect the actual purchase of the equipment, a task that falls within his job description.

“The city’s inventory had not been updated for two years,” Lane said. “David had a list of more than 25 items he needed to add to the inventory, and it happened that adding one of these items helped Marty’s case.”

Sentences for the alleged crimes according to Arizona Revised Statute range from one to three and a half years in prison.

The next hearing is Nov. 22.

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