Arizona House committee opens investigation into Rep. David Stringer

Jan 30, 2019, 2:35 PM
(Facebook Photo/David Stringer)...
(Facebook Photo/David Stringer)
(Facebook Photo/David Stringer)

PHOENIX — An Arizona House committee opened an investigation into two ethics complaints lodged against Rep. David Stringer, a Republican from Prescott.

Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers said Wednesday that the House Ethics Committee began the investigation, two days after after Republican Rep. Kelly Townsend filed the initial complaint.

“Chairman (T.J.) Shope and the other members of the Ethics Committee have my full support, and the chair will receive the resources needed for a timely and thorough investigation,” Bowers said in a statement. “I look forward to their findings and recommendations.”

Bowers also said Stringer would be suspended from the House Government Committee, his last committee assignment, until the investigation is finished.

The second complaint against Stringer was filed Tuesday by Democratic Rep. Reginald Bolding after his motion to vote on expelling Stringer failed.

According to Arizona Mirror, the State Bar is also investigating Stringer’s application to practice law in Arizona. He was admitted to the bar in 2004.

The complaints were filed in the wake of a recent report from the Phoenix New Times that Stringer was charged with sex offenses in Maryland in 1983, but his record was expunged.

Stringer 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.

Stringer represents District 1, which covers most of Yavapai County. In the November general election, he finished second for one of two seats representing the district and received more than twice as many votes as the third-place finisher, Democrat Jan Manolis.

If Stringer resigns or is removed from office, Republicans would temporarily lose their majority in the 60-seat House, which is currently split 31-29 between Republicans and Democrats. Thirty-one votes are required to pass legislation.

The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors would choose a replacement from three candidates submitted by the Republican precinct committee members in the county. His replacement must be a Republican under state law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Arizona House committee opens investigation into Rep. David Stringer