Formal ethics complaint filed against embattled State Rep. David Stringer

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- A spokesperson for the Democratic Caucus at the Arizona State House announced Tuesday afternoon that a formal ethics complaint has been filed against embattled State Rep. David Stringer.

According to a statement by Robbie Sherwood, the complaint was filed by State Rep. Reginald Bolding, who asked the State House on Monday to expel Stringer. Instead, the State House voted to let the House Ethics Committee to take up the issue.

Stringer has been the target of criticism since June 2018, when a livestream video emerged of him making remarks at an event that sparked allegations of racism. The video, which was streamed from a Yavapai Republican Party Republican Men's Forum, has since been removed, but it showed Stringer remarking that "there aren't enough white kids to go around" when discussing school integration. Stringer also said in the video that if nothing is done about immigration, "the demographics of our country will be irrevocably changed."

That video sparked calls for Stringer to resign, which was supported by Gov. Doug Ducey. Stringer later apologized for the remarks, but sparked further controversy in December, when a conversation Stringer had with ASU students was published. In the recording, Stringer was heard saying that African-American immigrants "Don't melt in. They don't blend in". When a student immediate fires back why it would matter, stringer responds by saying "I don't know, maybe it doesn't."

On January 25, the Associated Press reported that Stringer is under fire once again, after reports emerge he was charged with sex offenses in Maryland in 1983. The charges were reported on by the Phoenix New Times, based on a copy of the case history the newspaper obtained from the Circuit Court for Baltimore City in Maryland. Stringer's record was expunged, and a court official told the New Times the records should not have been released.

The official, Maryland Judiciary spokeswoman Nadine Maeser, did not respond to an email from The Associated Press. Stringer also did not respond to several requests for comment from the AP.

"Representative Stringer's pattern of conduct is dishonorable and unbecoming of a member of the Arizona House of Representatives," wrote State Rep. Bolding. "His conduct undermines the public's confidence in this institution and violates the order and decorum necessary to complete the people's work in this state."

In the complaint, State Rep. Bolding asked the Ethics Committee to immediately convene and investigate Stringer's conduct, and ask for the the committee to recommend Stringer's expulsion, if the investigation determines that allegations against Stringer in Maryland are true.

Republican Rep. Kelly Townsend has also filed an ethics complaint against Stringer.

In addition, Sherwood said that State Rep. Bolding has asked Speaker of the State House Russell Bowers to remove Stringer from his remaining committee assignment during the course of the investigation. The speaker, according to Sherwood, would consider the request.

According to Stringer's page on the Arizona State Legislature website, he is a member of the House Government Committee.

Stringer has not responded to requests for comment over several days.

The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.