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PHOENIX -- Newly appointed state Sen. Carlyle Begay's lawyer says the Apache County Attorney doesn't have the authority to try to have him removed from his 7th District office because of a residency challenge and is so close to the lawmaker challenging him that he also has a conflict of interest.

Rep. Albert Hale's lawyer has challenged Begay's July appointment because he's lived in Maricopa County for years and state law requires a year of county residency.

Thursday's letter from Phoenix attorney Roopali Desai to Deputy Apache County Attorney Andrew Young says Begay has rented a home in Apache County for more than a year. He also cites a Maricopa County Attorney opinion to argue there's no requirement to have lived in the county for a year before a legislative appointment.

Associated Press,

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