Members of the Arizona House of Representatives voted 30-28 to censure Democratic Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton of Tucson on Tuesday.

The move was in response to Hamilton hiding Bibles from the Arizona House members’ lounge and hiding them in different locationsreportedly as “playful commentary” on the separation of church and state, according to the House Ethics Committee report.

The report details the timeline over which House members noticed misplaced Bibles from the lounge. On finding the misplaced Bibles, the report says House Sergeant at Arms Chuck Fitzgerald reviewed security footage that showed Stahl Hamilton hiding the Bibles.


Stahl Hamilton herself is an ordained minister in the Presbyterien Church, according to her website, having served as Director of Youth Ministry at St. Marks from 2004 – 2007 and Executive Director of Montlure Presbyterian Camp from 2010 and 2015, according to her LinkedIn.

Republican members of the House initially sought to expel Stahl Hamilton.

“Unlike Liz Harris, she actually violated state law when she stole government property,” Rep. Rachel Jones, a Republican from Tucson, tweeted earlier today. “She also put Bibles under seat cushions, which Christian members then sat on. That is offensive. I firmly stand by my ‘yes’ vote.”

In a statement released recently by the Arizona House Democratic leadership, House Democratic Leader Andrs Cano, Assistant Democratic Leader Lupe Contreras, and Whips Melody Hernandez and Marcelino Quionez say they accept the findings of the Ethics Committee report, but are ready to move forward.

Full statement:

Our leadership team has seen the Ethics Committee report and we accept its findings. However, we also accept the apologies delivered by Representative Stahl Hamilton to her colleagues when this issue first came to light, and subsequently. She has owned her actions. We will not engage in any further divisive rhetoric or political opportunism that this incident has inspired. It is time to focus and devote our attention to the important work we have left at our Capitol.”

On June 10, the House Ethics Committee found Stahl Hamilton in violation of House Rule No. 1 for her actions, which governs disorderly conduct, according to an Associated Press article.

The vote Tuesday to expel did not meet the two-thirds majority required for expulsion, according to National Public Radio.