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Archivists working through recently found Symington files

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Former Arizona Gov. Fife Symington

State archivists are going through hundreds of boxes of previously missing files from the administration of former Gov. Fife Symington, who was forced from office in 1997.

Author Jack August, who is working on a biography of the former governor, located the missing records in June. The records hadn’t been lost per se, but Symington’s staff had failed to turn them over when he departed office.

“That whole business of resigning and leaving office, the trauma of it, probably created its own form of PTSD,” Symington said recently. “I moved on as quickly as I could.”

After resigning in 1997, Symington successfully appealed his conviction in the bank fraud case. Before he could be retried, then-President Bill Clinton ai??i?? on his last day in office ai??i?? pardoned Symington.

Symington had been keeping the records in a storage locker. The more than 305 boxes of files document his 6 A? years in office.

August, who is also director of institutional advancement at the Arizona Capitol Museum, said the locker also contained photos of the former governor.

Archivists say it will take as many as 500 man-hours to process the trove of documents from Symington.

“We had nothing, now we have one of the more fulsome collections (of a governor),” August said.

The records will eventually be available to the public through the state library’s online Knowledge Center. 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