Embattled lawmaker David Stringer resigns from Arizona House

Mar 27, 2019, 5:07 PM | Updated: 6:18 pm
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

PHOENIX – Amid an ethics investigation, embattled lawmaker David Stringer resigned Wednesday afternoon from the Arizona House of Representatives.

House Speaker Rusty Bowers announced he’d accepted the Prescott Republican’s resignation, effective at 4 p.m.

Earlier in the day, Stringer asked the court to intervene as he faced a deadline to turn over documents demanded by the House Ethics Committee.

But he withdrew the request moments before the hearing was supposed to begin in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Instead, he submitted his resignation to Bowers.

Gov. Doug Ducey said it was long overdue.

“I called for Rep. Stringer’s resignation in June. Today he resigned, and he did the right thing,” Ducey told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos shortly after the news broke.

Stringer was the subject of ethics complaints following newspaper reports that he was charged with sex crimes in a 1983 case that was later expunged. He was also being investigated over controversial comments on race and immigration.

Bowers said in a press release that Stringer’s resignation ends the ethics probe.

“I’m grateful that the House will not be forced to take action against one of our members, and we can begin to put this matter behind us,” Bowers, who declined an interview request from KTAR News, said in the release.

House Democratic Co-Whip Reginald Bolding, one of two legislators who filed ethics complaints against Stringer in January, said the resignation was “good for Arizona.”

“The evidence that he was trying to withhold from the Ethics Committee must be damning since he chose to quit rather than comply with a subpoena,” Bolding said in a statement.

“We hope that his replacement will serve with far more honor and integrity.”

On March 20, the ethics panel voted 4-1 to deny Stringer’s request to submit requested documents in secret.

At the time, Ethics Committee Chairman TJ Shope declined to say what documents were demanded from Stringer, saying that information would be part of the committee’s report.

Stringer was given a Wednesday deadline to comply with a subpoena for the material and was to sit for an interview Friday.

Bowers said Wednesday that public documents gathered over the course of the investigation will be released as soon as possible.

The ethics probe began in January after the Phoenix New Times published a copy of a case history the newspaper obtained from the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. A Maryland judicial official told the newspaper the case was expunged, and the records should not have been released.

Details of the charges against Stringer are unclear. The case summary published by New Times, which blacked out information about victims and witnesses, lists unspecified charges but does not detail the allegations. One entry says “charge is child pornography.”

Stringer’s lawyer has said the charges never resulted in a conviction.

Stringer was also being investigated over comments that were widely denounced as racist. Last summer, video circulated on social media of him saying “there aren’t enough white kids to go around” when discussing integration in schools. Despite a backlash, he was re-elected in November.

Earlier this month, the State Bar of Arizona last week ended an investigation into whether Stringer failed disclose the arrest when he applied for an Arizona law license in 2004. A bar investigator said Stringer’s application materials no longer existed, so it couldn’t be proven that he concealed anything.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police seek information on death of man found shot on bridge near I-10

Police are investigating the death of a man who was found shot to death on a bridge that goes over the I-10 freeway in Phoenix. 
1 day ago
FILE - Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)...
Associated Press

Probe of Arizona senator’s comments on Buffalo shooting concludes

The attorney for the Arizona Senate's ethics committee submitted a report Friday on his investigation of a Republican lawmaker's online comments that appeared to blame the federal government for a supermarket massacre in Buffalo, New York.
1 day ago
(Photo by/KTAR News' Taylor Kinnerup)...

About 100 people tried to get into Arizona Senate, tear gas used at protest after abortion ruling

Upwards of 100 people tried to get into the Arizona Senate building and tear gas had to be used at a protest in downtown Phoenix Friday night following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortions, authorities said.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)...

Arizona state Sen. Nancy Barto provides updates to state abortion law

Arizona state Sen. Nancy Barto provided clarity on Arizona abortion law following the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
1 day ago
(Pixabay photo)...

1 child dead, brother in critical condition in Glendale drowning incident

One child is dead and another is in critical condition after a drowning incident in Glendale on Friday night.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/City of Mesa Police Department)...

Mesa police shooting results in non-life threatening injuries to suspect

Two Mesa police officers were involved in a shooting Friday night at 8100 E University but did not suffer any injuries, according to authorities.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
Embattled lawmaker David Stringer resigns from Arizona House