Ex-city employee McDonald gets favorable court ruling

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Pinal County Superior Court Judge Janna Vanderpool has granted former Maricopa city employee Marty McDonald’s motion for an evidentiary hearing on the three felony cases he is facing.

The motion was granted Monday and will give McDonald the opportunity to present evidence to dismiss the felony charges brought against him by the Friends of the Maricopa Public Library.

“We are looking forward for our first chance to be heard,” McDonald said. “At my bond hearing last October, Judge Vanderpool ruled that the State lacked proper evidence and could not present a case that showed a conviction could possibly occur in regards to the allegation that I conspired with David Aviles to tamper with a public document. Since then, substantial amounts of evidence have been uncovered that indicate David and I are totally innocent. I look forward to finally having the opportunity to clear my name through the judicial process.”
 
McDonald was originally arrested on charges of fraudulent schemes, forgery and theft on May 11, 2010. The Friends of the Maricopa Public Library, a nonprofit organization that supports the Maricopa library and its programs, initiated charges, according to a Chandler police report. The report alleges McDonald, through fraudulent means, stole nearly $8,000 in two separate incidents.
 
The first incident allegedly occurred in late August or early September 2008 when McDonald ordered $4,835 in miscellaneous promotional items for the Founders Day event. McDonald then presented a copy of one of his own checks, showing payment for the items, to the library group.
 
However, Chandler Det. Robert Lenz said he contacted Wells Fargo Bank and found the check shown as proof of purchase never cleared McDonald’s account. According to the report, McDonald then authorized the city to make the payment to the promotional company and pocketed the reimbursement he received from the library committee.
 
After the charges were filed, McDonald’s attorney, Clair Lane, filed a claim against the city in the amount of $50,000. In this claim, McDonald asserts the charges against him are false and intended to defame his character. The claim states McDonald provided a personal check to Assistant City Manager Roger Kolman for $4,835 along with a copy of the Friends’ reimbursement check.
 
The claim alleges Kolman purposely did not cash the check and did not notify McDonald that the check was never processed.
 
The second set of charges arose when prosecutors said McDonald tampered with an invoice and receipt to manufacture evidence that cleared him of charges.
 
“They are alleging my client fabricated an invoice,” Lane said. “The fact is there were three items on the invoice, not two.”
 
The third indictment alleges McDonald and city employee David Aviles modified city of Maricopa records between Sept. 1, 2010 and Sept. 22, 2010 to make it appear that McDonald was innocent of charges that he defrauded the city.
 
Aviles was suspended from his job with the city after the charges were filed, but has since been reinstated in a lower-paid position after admitting that he violated city procedures. Criminal charges against him are still pending.
 
McDonald will take part in two evidentiary hearings in July, one for the charges he faces along with Aviles, the second for the other two criminal cases.