Politician Resigns Amidst Child Pornography Allegations

Arizona State Representative David Stringer was re-elected after making racist comments, but it was a newspaper's unearthing of a sex scandal that led to his resignation.  

A stack of newspapers on a table.
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Arizona State Representative David Stringer was re-elected after making racist comments, but it was a newspaper's unearthing of a sex scandal that led to his resignation.  

Arizona State Representative David Stringer refused to hand over documents related to his 1983 Maryland court case that involved multiple sex offenses, one of which may have included child pornography, choosing instead to resign.

The case was expunged in 1999, meaning it was essentially erased from the public record. However, last January, Phoenix New Times obtained a microfiche copy of the case that provided bare-bones details into the allegations.

A note on the document reads, “Charge is child pornography,” but the details of the charges are unclear.

The document also appears to show the court entering a judgment of guilt for “SEX02” and “SEX04,” which Jack Hanly, former Maryland state prosecutor who was practicing at the time of Stringer’s case, told the New Times typically is the shorthand used to refer to second-degree and fourth-degree sex offenses.

The document also indicates Stringer was sentenced to five years of probation in the case and was ordered to seek treatment at a well-known clinic for people with sexual disorders.

Following the publication of the New Times story, Republican State Representative Kelly Townsend filed an ethics complaint against Stringer, hoping to shed some light on what happened in Maryland in 1983.

“It is of such an egregious nature, that it is something I feel needs to be known,” she told New Times in late January.

Her ethics complaint was the second this year that has been brought against Stringer.

On two separate occasions, Stringer made comments widely denounced as racist, prompting Governor Doug Ducey to call for his resignation, according to Fox News.

When discussing integration in schools, Stringer was captured on video saying “there aren’t enough white kids to go around.”

Despite the considerable backlash, he was re-elected last November.

The New Times reported that after the election, Stringer told Arizona State University students that African-Americans “don’t blend in.” He also said Somali immigrants don’t look like “every other kid” as did previous European immigrants.

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His apologies on the Arizona House floor last January appeared to ring hollow.

The House Ethics Committee gave him until 5 p.m. yesterday to hand over documents related to the Maryland charges. The representative chose, instead, to resign.

Stringer’s resignation will reportedly hamstring some of the GOP’s top priorities, according to Fox News. Without Stringer, the Republicans no longer hold a majority in the House. By law the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors must choose a Republican to replace him. It is unclear how long that process will take.