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Arizona bar can’t prove state lawmaker didn’t disclose arrest on application

FILE - In this June 27, 2018, file photo, Arizona state Rep. David Stringer, R-Prescott, speaks at a community forum in Phoenix. Stringer, an Arizona lawmaker under scrutiny for sex charges in the 1980s and his comments on race, is losing his only committee assignment, at least for now, state House Speaker Rusty Bowers said Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

PHOENIX – The State Bar of Arizona has dismissed a charge against state Rep. David Stringer after being unable to prove he failed to disclose an arrest on his application to practice law in the state.

In a letter to Stringer’s lawyer that was made public Thursday, the state bar’s Matthew McGregor said the Arizona Supreme Court Admissions Office told him that Stringer’s 2004 application no longer existed.

The case was opened after media reports surfaced in January that Stringer had been arrested for sex offenses in Maryland in 1983. He wasn’t convicted of any crimes, and his record was expunged.

“At this time, it does not appear that there is clear and convincing evidence or that such evidence could be developed to support the accusation that Representative Stringer failed to make the required and appropriate disclosures in seeking admission to the State Bar of Arizona,” McGregor said in the letter, adding that the case could be reopened if new evidence arises.

McGregor said his investigation also found that Stringer was licensed to practice in the District of Columbia at the time of the arrest, and the district bar reviewed the case and dismissed it without action in 1984.

Stringer still faces ethics investigations in the House in response to complaints that were filed in the wake of a report by the Phoenix New Times about his arrest.

The Prescott Republican also came under fire last year for making a series of comments that many considered to be racist.

Video of him saying “there aren’t enough white kids to go around” at the Yavapai County Republican Men’s Forum was posted on social media last June, and in November, Stringer said African-Americans “don’t blend in” and “always look different” during a lecture led by an Arizona State University professor.

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