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County Supervisor Don Stapley made a killing on a shady development and sank the profits into a mansion. Then he told the tax assessor to value his estate at $863,000 -- while listing it for sale at $2.5 million.

After a while, Walker's and Stapley's tendency to blame others for Stapley's legal and ethical problems begins to sound like a broken record: The property-tax consultant filed the appeal without my knowledge; Ed Ricketts hates Mormons; Kathy Stapley ran up a big credit card debt; Edythe Jensen wants to embarrass the Mormon Church.

Such behavior has generated distaste in political circles.

"I don't like Don Stapley. . . . It's [business practices] very repulsive to me," says one prominent East Valley elected official who asked not to be identified.

Stapley is asking $2.5 million for his Arcadia home, though he told the county it's worth $863,000.
Paolo Vescia
Stapley is asking $2.5 million for his Arcadia home, though he told the county it's worth $863,000.

Near the conclusion of the interview in his office, Stapley says he "understands" why his actions invite scrutiny.

"But trust me and believe me there was no ill-gotten gains. There was no scheme on my part, I promise you that. I've got my neck out a country mile on this [Arcadia house] investment. I put a whole lot of eggs in one basket and I'm taking a big risk because it is not a cheap house to live in. I'm not comfortable, personally," he says.

"I can afford to live there," he quickly adds.

"But it's just not my style. It's an investment."

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