The House Ethics Committee will meet Wednesday to vote on a request from Rep. David Stringer related to the investigation against him, but the public isn’t invited to hear the details.
The committee will meet at 2 p.m. – or following action on the House floor – but will go into executive session for legal advice.
Specifically, there will be a legal briefing and discussion about Stringer’s request that he be allowed to present documents the committee subpoenaed out of public view, also during an executive session. The committee will vote on the request publicly in open session, House spokesman Matt Specht said in an email.
Because the investigation is in progress, Specht declined to say whether the committee has heard from Stringer, in terms of testimony or any response he has had to the complaints filed against him by Reps. Kelly Townsend and Reginald Bolding.
And Specht referred to state statute when asked whether there is any standard or rule regarding the presentation of documents related to an ethics investigation during an executive session. Arizona law allows a public body to hold an executive session only under specific circumstances, including the discussion of records exempt by law from public inspection.
The complaints against him include allegations that Stringer was indicted in 1983 on multiple sex offenses, including child pornography, which the Phoenix New Times received documentation of despite Stringer’s record having been expunged in 1990. A spokeswoman for the Maryland Judiciary later contacted New Times to say the microfilm of the case had been provided in error.
The committee will not be reviewing any documents during the executive session tomorrow, but Stringer is asking that they do so when he submits the documents that have been sought.
Ethics Chairman Rep. TJ. Shope will provide additional information at the hearing tomorrow, Specht added.
Stringer also sought – and was granted – protection for records reviewed in the Arizona State Bar’s investigation into whether he had made all appropriate disclosures when applying to practice law in Arizona.
Stringer’s attorney Carmen Chenal sought a protective order that allowed a letter of dismissal related to the D.C. Bar’s investigation of Stringer to be disclosed to the Arizona Bar but not the public. Chenal successfully argued the letter was connected to a sealed investigation and contained “sensitive personal matters” that should be kept from all government agencies, media and the general public.