Will Affair End in Alabama Governor's Impeachment-or Jailing?

Cheryl Sanders
April 13, 2017

Alabama's 53rd governor, Robert Julian Bentley, has resigned from office amidst allegations he covered up an affair with an aide and has plead guilty to misdemeanor charges in relation to those allegations.

One misdemeanor charge against Bentley stemmed from a $50,000 loan he made to his campaign in November that investigators said he failed to report until January. "I pray every morning for wisdom and guidance, and forgiveness for the sins I have committed", the former dermatologist and church deacon told a news conference announcing his resignation, never directly acknowledging his romantic relationship with 45-year-old political adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason. But it turns out Bentley's affair with Rebekah Mason didn't just affect the people around him.

Alabama's governor has quit over his alleged affair with a political aide in one of the biggest sex and politics scandals to hit the state. Acting Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Lynn Stuart - who also took over after a male predecessor, Roy Moore, was forced out - administered the oath of office.

Ultimately, as special counsel Jack Sharman outlined a string of salacious allegations before a state House Judiciary Committee resolved to impeach the second-term governor, Bentley cut a deal with prosecutors and stepped down.

Tuesday was a busy day for new Governor Kay Ivey, her first full day as Alabama's chief executive.

Governor Ivey was sworn in about an hour after Bentley's resignation.

Now in the state's top seat, Ivey pledged Monday to be "honest" and "open" following concerns about the lack of transparency in Bentley's administration. The first was Lurleen Wallace, wife of segregationist and four-term Gov. George Wallace.

"[She] noticed not only the changes in her husband's wardrobe but also the changes in his demeanor", Zengerle said. He led Ivey through her first oath of office in 2003.

"I think between her and the leadership in the House and Senate, we'll continue to progress", he said. She was governor for about a year after state law kept her husband, a Democrat, from running for consecutive terms, according to the New York Times. A sixth is expected to join the ranks if Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, a Republican, is confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China-President Donald Trump nominated him for the role in December-and he's replaced by his lieutenant Kim Reynolds, a Republican.

Americans are somehow. A sitting governor, Robert Bentley literally resigned because he used state funds to cover up an affair he had with one of his employees. "Robert Bentley could not handle the power".

April 7, 2017: Bentley appears outside Alabama Capitol to say he will not resign. It was a sign that Alabama, like other southern states, was shifting from solid Democratic territory to Republican rule.

Former Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier, who a day after being fired by Bentley a year ago held a news conference where he publicly revealed the affair accusation, said he feels vindicated by the resignation and plea deal.

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