Arizona lawmaker incorrectly claims peace officer status

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona lawmaker says he wasn't trying to bend the truth when he incorrectly identified himself as a peace officer earlier this week.

Rep. Anthony Kern on Tuesday urged passage of police-related legislation, citing his certification.

Kern says he thought he was a certified police officer after graduating from the Glendale police academy in May 2014.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports the 53-year-old Glendale Republican is not certified by the state training board. Furthermore, he signed a form upon entering the academy that acknowledged he would not get a certification after graduation.

Critics say he is grossly misrepresenting himself.

Kern says he always clarifies to people that he is not employed as a police officer and does not carry out police duties.