Disgraced ex-Rep. Stringer returns to Capitol

Disgraced former Rep. David Stringer in the lobby of the Capitol's Executive Tower on Aug. 15, 2019. Photo by Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

Disgraced former Rep. David Stringer, who resigned from the legislature amid an ethics investigation into racist comments and sex crimes charges he faced in Baltimore in the early 1980s, returned to the Capitol Thursday for the first time since he relinquished his seat in March.

Arizona Mirror spotted Stringer waiting in the lobby of the Treasurer’s Office. Stringer, a Prescott Republican, said he was there as part of a group called the Citizens Tax Committee that came down to the Capitol from Prescott. The group is interested in issues related to the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System in Prescott, the city’s pension system for public safety employees.

“We have an interest in fiscal accountability in Prescott and we follow these issues,” Stringer said.

According to the Treasurer’s Office, the group of roughly 20 people met with Deputy State Treasurer Mark Swenson. The Treasurer’s Office was not aware that Stringer was part of the group when it scheduled the meeting, Swenson said. 

Treasurer Kimberly Yee did not meet with the group or with Stringer.

Stringer resigned from the Arizona House of Representatives in March amidst a probe by the House Ethics Committee into sex crime charges he faced in 1983 while living in Baltimore. The committee found that he’d been charged with multiple sexual encounters with two intellectually disabled teenage boys

Stringer ultimately took a plea deal available in Maryland at the time called “probation before judgment,” which doesn’t include any findings or admissions of guilt. He was sentenced to probation and community service, and ordered to seek treatment at a sexual disorders clinic.

At the time the Phoenix New Times revealed the bombshell allegations against Stringer in January, he was already facing calls to resign over several racist remarks he’d made in public speeches. 

He told a Yavapai County Republican group over the summer that immigration represents an “existential threat” to the United States and lamented that there are “aren’t enough white kids to go around” in Arizona’s public schools. After his re-election in November, he told a group of Arizona State University students that African Americans and other non-white people “don’t blend in” with Americans. 

Jeremy Duda
Associate Editor Jeremy Duda is a Phoenix native and began his career in journalism in 2003 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the Arizona Mirror, he worked at the Arizona Capitol Times, where he spent eight years covering the Governor's Office and two years as editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. Before that, he wrote for the Hobbs News-Sun of Hobbs, NM, and the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. Jeremy is also the author of the history book “If This Be Treason: the American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”



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