Home » Extra Extra » Arizona developer's checkered past Extra Extra Arizona developer's checkered past By Extra Extra | 04.20.2007 East Valley Tribune in Phoenix completed a series on Jim Rhodes who has become in the most influential developer in Arizona's East Valley. In December of 2006, he purchased over 1,000 acres of state trust land. The $58.6 million purchase gave him the right to "master-plan 7,700 acres in the area and set the tone for development of 275 square miles of state land extending from the eastern edge of Maricopa County to Florence." State officials claim they did not know of Rhodes' checkered past, which includes charges of fraud and theft, prior to the land purchase. The entire series can be viewed here.