PHOENIX, Sept. 3 -- Gov. Fife Symington has been convicted of seven federal fraud charges that will make him the second Arizona governor in a decade to be forced from office. The Phoenix jury acquitted the 52-year-old Republican of three other charges and deadlocked on 11 other charges against him today.
Symington's lawyer, John Dowd, said Symington will resign at 5 p.m. Friday. Symington told reporters, 'I leave this office knowing I have done my best.' The jury convicted Symington of six felony counts of providing false personal financial statements to lenders to get loans and financing for his real estate projects, and one count of wire fraud in connection with a series of pension funds. The panel acquitted him of three charges, including allegations that he tried to extort six pension funds into releasing him from a personal guarantee of a $10 million loan. The jury was hung on 11 other counts, including whether Symington lied under oath in his bankruptcy case. The panel spent 10 days deliberating after being ordered to re-start its deliberations when an original member was replaced after seven days of deliberations. Symington denied any wrongdoing and vowed to seek a third term as governor if he was acquitted. The charges concerned activities between 1986 and 1991. Jurors told reporters that they believed some, but not all, of what Symington said. Federal prosecutors said it wasn't immediately clear exactly how much prison time Symington could face when he's sentenced Nov. 10. Another Republican governor, Evan Mechamm was impeached in 1987 for allegedly obstructing an investigation into an aide's alleged death threat and illegally loaning state money to his car dealership. He was acquitted of criminal charges. ---
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