Arizona Capitol Times
A Democratic Representative is asking for an ethics complaint filed against her for hiding Capitol Bibles to be dismissed.
Rep. Stephanie Stahl-Hamilton, D-Tucson, submitted a response signed by two attorneys to the complaint on Monday. The response was filed as a letter with House Ethics Committee Chairman Rep. Joseph Chaplik, R-Scottsdale, and the attorneys argued the complaint should be dismissed because it failed to comply with notarization requirements of Ethics Committee rules procedures.
Stahl-Hamilton’s attorneys are two former Democrat state lawmakers, Domingo DeGrazia and Diego Rodriguez. They also wrote in the letter that Stahl-Hamilton’s actions were a “peaceful protest regarding the separation of church and state, and in response to the weaponizing of religion in politics.”
Reps. Lupe Diaz, R-Benson, David Marshall, R-Snowflake, and Justin Heap, R-Mesa, filed the complaint against Stahl-Hamilton on May 1 and allege she engaged in disorderly behavior, committed theft and created a hostile work environment.
House security caught Stahl-Hamiliton taking Bibles from the members’ lounge with a hidden video camera that was placed in the lounge due to reports of Bibles missing. After the video was broadcast by news outlets, the representative admitted to hiding the Bibles and apologized for her actions on the House floor and said it was “impulsive.”
“Representative Stahl Hamiltion’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.”
Her formal response references her apology and reiterates her statement that she didn’t intend to disrespect or desecrate the Bibles.
“Rep. Stahl Hamilton is an ordained Presbyterian minister who has deep respect for the Bible and for the sacred texts of other faiths,” the letter states.