SALT LAKE CITY — A Mormon church leader was removed from his post and kicked out of the religion Tuesday for the first time in nearly three decades.

James J. Hamula was released from a mid-level leadership council based on disciplinary action by the religion’s highest leaders, said Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Hawkins didn’t say why Hamula was ousted, but the Utah-based church said it was not for apostasy, which refers to teaching inaccurate doctrine or publicly defying guidance from church leaders.

Efforts to reach Hamula at listed phone numbers were not successful.

The last leader to be excommunicated was the late George P. Lee in 1989 after Lee, an American Indian, called Mormon leaders racist. The church said then that Lee was removed for “apostasy and other conduct unbecoming a member of the church.”

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