It doesn't make any sense that your sister would be denied the public defender in one county and had her application approved in another. to qualify for the public defender in colorado, you must meet specific income guidelines set by the supreme court. all public defender applications are evaluated using the same income guidelines. she also must provide proof to back up her income statements, so it's possible that she did not provide proof in a timely fashion or something like that, but both offices are using the same standard so if she provided the same proof with identical answers the two applications should have the same outcome. I can't tell you about a potential sentence on her probation violation, but after the second felony case, you are no longer eligible for probation unless the district attorney agrees to make you eligible for probation - in other words, on the third felony case, it is highly likely in most cases, especially with continuing patterns of theft, that you could receive a sentence to community corrections or prison.
Your sister is looking at the revocation of her probation with any plea she takes in the new case. I agree with the prior attorney that any offer made by the DA's will include jail time. The best thing for your sister to do is to contact her PD in the first county and explain that she has another case and needs help in this county. I am assuming your sister whets to do some type of global Plea Deal. By contacting the PD's office that denied her representation she may be able to appeal and receive a PD just based on the fact she has a PD in the other case. Either way, if she is in custody and is trying to work out a global Plea Deal she needs to either hire another lawyer or try again to get the PD to represent her.