Minnesota lawmakers grappled with the fallout of a state senator's burglary arrest on Wednesday, debating what should be done in response to a case that has cast uncertainty over the end of the legislative session.

Democrats in the Senate pulled bills from the floor and canceled a morning rules committee hearing so they could huddle behind closed doors about Sen. Nicole Mitchell, who's been charged with felony first-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into her stepmother's home to take some of her late father's belongings, including his ashes. Without Mitchell's vote, Democrats who hold the Senate by a one-seat margin can't advance a long list of bills they hope to pass by the end of the session.

Senate Republicans filed an ethics complaint against Mitchell on Wednesday, arguing she violated chamber rules that require members to "adhere to the highest standard of ethical conduct" when she allegedly broke into her stepmother's home in the middle of the night dressed in black. Republicans moved to expedite a hearing on their ethics complaint, but the motion failed with Democrats opposing it.

"The trust of the public has been violated and we must begin the investigation immediately," said Sen. Eric Lucero, R-St. Michael.

Democrats stressed that Mitchell is entitled to due process and argued the Senate doesn't need to expedite a hearing when it already has rules requiring an ethics subcommittee to act on a complaint within 30 days.

"We should follow and abide by the historic process of this Senate and the rules of this Senate," said Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, before the motion failed on a 33-33 vote.

The Minnesota Legislature is required to adjourn its regular session by May 20, meaning the committee could take up the complaint after lawmakers leave St. Paul. Republicans accused Democrats of attempting to delay the hearing until after the session ends.

"It is unprecedented," Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, said of expediting an ethics hearing. "But what is also unprecedented is that a member of this body has been arrested for such a great crime as first-degree burglary."

Mitchell's stepmother called police at 4:45 a.m. Monday to report an active burglary. Officers found Mitchell in the basement when they arrived. They found a flashlight covered with a black sock nearby and a backpack wedged in an open basement window that Mitchell later told police she entered through, according to the criminal complaint. The backpack contained several items, including a laptop that the criminal complaint suggests belonged to Mitchell's stepmother.

In a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon, Mitchell denied stealing and said she was trying to conduct a welfare check on a family member who's declined "due to Alzheimer's and associated paranoia." Mitchell's attorney later told the Star Tribune that she was also trying to "retrieve a couple of items that she felt were being wrongfully withheld from her."

In their ethics complaint, Senate Republicans accused Mitchell of publishing false or misleading statements in her Facebook account of her arrest, which violates a rule that members shouldn't publish or distribute material that "includes any statement that is false or clearly misleading."

"Shortly after her release from the Becker County Jail, Senator Mitchell attempted to frame the public narrative and recharacterize the nature of her arrest; however, the social media statement Senator Mitchell issued directly conflicts with statements she made to law enforcement," reads their complaint.

They pointed to Mitchell's admittance in charging documents of, "I know I did something bad," which they argued betrays the public trust and could "bring the Senate into dishonor or disrepute."

Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, declined to comment on the discrepancies between Mitchell's Facebook post and what she allegedly told police. Murphy said "we are obviously dealing with a really heartbreaking and troubling set of circumstances for a colleague of ours," but she cautioned against making decisions without all the facts.

"Human beings make mistakes. It's not the first incident where someone has run afoul of the law, and the Legislature has a capacity to deal with it," Murphy said. "She has a due process right in this body, she has a due process right in court."

Asked if the ethics committee will take up the complaint against Mitchell before the session ends, Murphy said, "I would expect the ethics committee to take that seriously and take action."

Mitchell did not show up to the Capitol on Wednesday or participate in the vote on whether to expedite the ethics complaint against her. Murphy said she will be considering whether to let Mitchell vote remotely on bills for the remainder of the session.

Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, said it will be "a large distraction" if Mitchell resumes voting on legislation before the ethics committee weighs in.

"Senator Mitchell is the 34th vote. She is the one that can or cannot be the deciding vote on passing a bill," Johnson said.

In a statement to the Star Tribune on Wednesday, Mitchell's attorney Bruce Ringstrom Jr. said the senator is "motivated to get back to work and to assist in the preparation of her defense." The criminal complaint filed against Mitchell failed to include "exculpatory facts," he said, such as how the senator has a key to the stepmother's house, was concerned about her health and welfare and "that she was only in possession of things that she actually owns."

"I have been deeply disturbed by social media posts advocating that due process be suspended in Senator Mitchell's case," Ringstrom said. "Insisting on the rights of humans criminally accused by the government should be a sacrosanct bipartisan issue."