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Pinal County Recorder Under Scrutiny for Hiring Daughter's Boyfriend; He Used Position for ID Theft, Cops Say

Pinal County Recorder Laura Dean-Lytle's political career is in doubt after she hired her daughter's ex-con boyfriend and promoted him to sensitive position despite disciplinary actions and poor work performance. The employee, Albert Robbs, used his position to obtain bank account information on Pinal County residents, which he sold to his drug dealer and which was later used to commit identity theft, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Paul Babeu, whose office continued an investigation of Dean-Lytle that had begun under his predecessor, says Dean-Lytle's actions constitute "corruption" and he wants her to resign.

The sultry Southeast Valley saga first came to light this week in an article by Jill Jones of Gold Canyon Today, followed by articles yesterday in the East Valley Tribune and the Arizona Republic.

There are some political overtones to the scandal: Babeu's a Republican and Dean-Lytle's a Democrat. But really, this one seems cut-and-dried -- Dean-Lytle appears to have shown shockingly poor judgment in the nepotistic hiring of Robbs, whom she knew was a drug user and former thief who had spent time in prison.

And here we thought the only news in Pinal County was the high rate of foreclosures.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.