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Court hearing set for ex-lawmaker Miranda

Former Rep. Richard Miranda

A court appearance for what could be a plea agreement in a yet-to-be-filed criminal case has been scheduled for a former state representative who suddenly resigned from the Legislature recently.

The docket for the U.S. District Court in Phoenix lists a Wednesday hearing for an initial appearance, arraignment and change of plea for Tolleson Democrat Richard Miranda.

Such proceedings are typically scheduled for plea agreements arranged in cases before criminal charges are filed.

The case number listed for Miranda’s appearance includes a designation that indicates it involves a waiver of indictment.

A lawyer for Miranda, Jose Montano, confirmed Friday that the appearance is for the former legislator and said he arranged it. Montano declined to elaborate.

As his office has done previously in response to inquiries about Miranda, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Arizona declined comment. The spokesman referred a reporter to a U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman who did not immediately return a call for comment.

Miranda abruptly resigned from the Legislature on Feb. 16, citing family and health concerns.

Since then, The Arizona Republic has reported that the Internal Revenue Service had requested Miranda’s financial-disclosure reports for the past six years. Legislators file those reports annually with the Secretary of State’s Office.

Also, the Arizona Guardian reported this week that a man who formerly ran a nonprofit affiliated with Miranda said he was contacted by federal prosecutors but told not to talk about it.

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