Rick DeBruhl, Chief Communications Officer for the Arizona State Bar explained, "We can confirm that the state bar has investigation [sic] regarding Mr. Stringer’s application to practice law. By court rule, we can’t give any other information."
DeBruhl explained further, "It’s important to understand the difference between the court and the bar. The court is responsible for admitting someone into the practice of law. It handles admission and character and fitness. The Bar is responsible for regulating the attorneys once they are licensed. We are not a part of the admission process."
So, what is there to investigate? If the Court can’t find the original application, and Stringer was officially admitted to the Bar in 2004, a fact that seems to be unquestioned, then shouldn't their original finding of character and fitness remain in place?
DeBruhl took the time to answer that question, too. " Our responsibility is to ensure that lawyers live up to the rules of professional conduct so that the public is protected. We receive more than 3,000 inquiries/complaints per year. Of those, about 600 or so result in what we would call a formal investigation. Just because any type of investigation is opened does not mean a presumption that an attorney has violated the rules of professional conduct. It merely means that we have an obligation to make sure they met and continue to meet ethical standards."
The Arizona Capitol Times reports that Supreme Court Spokesman Aaron Nash stated that it’s not unusual that the Stringer application cannot be found. "The retention schedule for Bar applicant files is seven years after admission," Nash said.
For his part, Representative Stringer, while still maintaining his innocence, has pledged his full cooperation to all parties. He has expressed his confidence that he will be exonerated.