PHOENIX — Dexter Thomas, former director of support services for the Maricopa County Justice Courts Administration was found to have misused public funds by an investigation by the Arizona Auditor General.
Thomas was indicted on four felony counts charging him with theft, misuse of public monies, and fraudulent schemes.
Investigators found that Thomas allegedly falsified five county travel expense forms and received $1,296 through those fraudulent activities, from February to September 2015, said a release from the auditor general’s office.
He also used his county credit card for personal purchases for a total $1,135, the release said.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office obtained a grand jury indictment in superior court for the four felony counts. The auditor’s report was submitted Oct. 24 to the attorney’s office.
Thomas was promoted to director of support services at the County Justice Courts in December 2014. He had worked in other county management positions during a 14 year career.
As director of support services, Thomas was responsible for budgeting, accounts payable, and procurement for the 26 justice courts.
The auditor general found that Thomas used his county purchasing card to pay for personal purchases including vehicle rentals, taxi fares, and hotel parking, but falsely asserted on five county expense report forms that he personally paid for those expenses and should be reimbursed, an auditor general’s report said.
Mr. Thomas submitted falsified travel expense forms after returning from conferences and received illicit reimbursements through his paychecks.
When we was questioned about his requests for reimbursement of these travel-related expenses, Thomas claimed he did not know, could not recall the transactions in question, or suggested it may have been an oversight, the report said.
Thomas also used his county purchasing card to pay for five personal purchases totaling $1,135. These purchases included food, alcohol, a massage, golf green fees, and a television.
After his misuse of public funds was discovered, Thomas was placed on paid administrative leave in October 2015, before resigning one month later.