JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A legislative ethics panel is hearing whether an Alaska state representative violated ethics law by disclosing to a reporter the existence of a complaint that was considered confidential.

Republican Rep. David Eastman requested the formal hearing on the subcommittee's probable cause finding, released earlier this year.

The panel recommended Eastman be censured in the form of losing his seat on the ethics committee. The state House agreed and removed him in January, but he argues that action was premature.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce in January reported that Eastman told one of its reporters during an interview in April 2017 that a complaint had been filed against another legislator and suggested the reporter check with the ethics office.

Eastman's attorney disputes that characterization.

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