3 GOP lawmakers file ethics complaint against Democrat rep caught hiding Bibles
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Several GOP lawmakers are taking action against a Democrat representative caught on camera hiding Bibles in a members-only lounge inside the Arizona House last week. Rep. Justin Heap (R- District 10), Rep. David Marshall (R- District 7), and Rep. Lupe Diaz (R- District 19) filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee after Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton, who’s also a Presbyterian minister, admitted to removing and hiding Bibles.
The three officials claim Stahl Hamilton repeatedly stole the Bibles, created a hostile work environment, and showed disorderly behavior. They also allege she may have offended other Christians. In addition, the complaint says Stahl Hamilton’s apology didn’t provide sufficient justification or excuse for her actions. “Representative Stahl Hamilton’s actions are not only disorderly; they display a profound lack of judgment and a flagrant disrespect for the beliefs of her fellow members and the Arizona population at large, making her conduct unethical and unacceptable,” a portion of the complaint states.
Stahl Hamilton was caught swiping and hiding two Bibles, and the House security team found them in odd places, including a refrigerator, and buried in the couch cushions. She sent a statement, claiming it was “just a little playful commentary on the separation of church and state.” “We, and other members of the Arizona House who cherish our faith and hold the Bible in reverence, do not see Representative Stahl Hamilton’s disrespect of scripture as playful in any regard,” the complaint says.
Stahl Hamilton later apologized on the House floor for her actions. “I recognize that my actions could have been seen as something less than playful and offensive, and for those of you I have offended, I deeply apologize. That was never the intent,” she said last Wednesday.
The full complaint can be read below.
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