Ethics complaint filed against Democrat who hid Arizona House lounge Bibles
May 2, 2023, 10:00 AM | Updated: 10:27 am
(Arizona State Legislature and Pixabay Photos)
PHOENIX — Three Arizona Republican lawmakers have filed an ethics complaint against a Democratic colleague who was caught hiding Bibles from the House members lounge.
Reps. Justin Heap, David Marshall and Lupe Diaz filed the formal complaint against Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton on Monday, urging the House Ethics Committee to “thoroughly investigate this matter and take appropriate action to ensure that such conduct is not repeated.”
According to the ethics complaint, two Bibles that have been on display in the House members lounge for decades were reported missing March 23. They were found under seat cushions during a search by House security the next day.
One of the Bibles went missing again on March 29. It was found in a refrigerator.
After the second incident, security cameras were installed in the lounge, a restricted area behind the House floor accessible only to members, senior staff and escorted guests.
Both Bibles went missing again on April 10. Security camera footage captured Stahl Hamilton putting them under two sofas in the lounge.
“Had a camera not been installed, these deeply inappropriate actions could have continued indefinitely to the detriment of other members,” the complaint says.
“The people of Arizona deserve a higher standard of decorum and respect from their elected representatives.”
“The intent was never to be destructive, to never desecrate or to offend,” the Democrat from District 21 in southern Arizona said.
“I acknowledge that a conversation about the separation of church and state should have began with a conversation, and for that, I apologize.”