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The Latest: Lawmaker can’t keep ethics probe records secret

March 21, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on the ethics investigation of Arizona Rep. David Stringer (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

The Arizona House Ethics Committee is refusing to let embattled Rep. David Stringer submit documents in secret as the panel investigates complaints about his offensive comments and expunged criminal charges from the 1980s.

Just one of the five lawmakers on the ethics panel voted to grant Stringer’s request Wednesday. The Prescott Republican must comply with a subpoena from the committee by March 27 and sit for an interview two days later. Ethics Committee Chairman TJ Shope declined to discuss what might happen to Stringer if he refuses to cooperate.

Shope and the Ethics Committee’s two Democrats say the panel must act transparently and ensure the public has confidence in the investigation of Stringer.

Shope would not say what documents were demanded from Stringer.

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1:45 p.m.

The Arizona House Ethics Committee is considering a request by embattled Rep. David Stringer to submit documents in secret.

The committee is investigating complaints about the Prescott Republican’s comments on race and immigration as well as the disclosure of expunged criminal charges from the 1980s.

The committee has subpoenaed documents from Stringer, but it’s not clear what was demanded.

Maryland court records released to the Phoenix New Times showed Stringer was charged with sex crimes in the 1980s. The case was expunged in 1990, and court officials told the newspaper the records should not have been released.

Stringer twice was condemned last year for comments that were widely denounced as racist.

He’s been removed from committee assignments while he awaits the outcome of the ethics probe.