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As impeachment proceedings heat up, Alabama Gov Robert Bently resigns – fallout of office sex scandal and Ethics investigation

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Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says: “I have decided that it is time for me to step down as Alabama’s governor.”
Governor’s ex-wife had told Ethics committee she discovered his affair via love texts on govt issue iCloud account 
Whistle blower Spencer Collier was as let go as Alabama Law Enforcement Secretary
Just hours later he claimed he had seen and heard evidence of an affair with Gov. Robert Bentley, 74, and Rebekah Caldwell Mason
opening Impeachment  hearings began Monday
Last week, the Alabama Ethics Commission cited evidence that Bentley broke state ethics and campaign laws
Matter was referred the matter to prosecutors
Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh and House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, both urged a defiant Bently to step aside
Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, becomes Alabama’s second ever female governor

“There’ve been times that I let you and our people down, and I’m sorry for that,” Bentley said in the old House chamber of Alabama’s Capitol after he pleaded guilty.
The violations were discovered during the investigation of his affair but were not directly related to it.

Robert Bentley (left) and Rebekah Caldwell Mason1
The alleged affair between Gov. Bentley [left] and his aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason [right], herself also married,may lead to his impeachement

The conservative republican governor, whose campaign platform was family values, has seen no end of troubles since since recordings surfaced in 2016 of him making suggestive remarks to a female aide before he and his wife of 50 years Dianne got divorced in November of 2016.
Although Bentley last week, won a court fight to halt his looming impeachment hearings, he could not staunch the hemorrage of salacious information with the release of an investigative report that describes his paranoia and obsession over trying to keep his romance with a staffer from becoming public.
Friday’s drama unfolded with his attorneys rushing to court and appearing before two judges ina bid, albeit successfully, to stop the impeachment proceedings, which were to begin Monday.
A defiant Bently made an appearance on the steps of the state Capitol  shortly after the court victory and scoffed at the growing calls from fellow Republicans that he step down.
Last week, Bentley learned he could face criminal prosecution when the Alabama Ethics Commission found probable cause that he broke ethics and campaign law.

 Spencer Collier2.png
Whistle blower, former Alabama Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier, who was was subsequently fired, said he saw text messages and heard recordings ‘of a sexual nature’ between Gov. Bentley and his aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason

The report also revealed that Dianne received text messages on her phone, sent mistakenly by Bentley, in which the governor professed his love for aide Rebekah Mason, who he routinely called “baby” in official meetings.
A 130-page summary of the report, released Saturday, paints Bentley as possibly suffering from dementia.witnesses also told us that there was a belief among the Bentley children that their father may have been suffering dementia or other health problems,” it read.
“Witnesses also told us that there was an effort by the Bentley children to have their father evaluated by medical specialists outside of Alabama. Such a medical intervention never came to fruition.
The committee said his “obsession and paranoia” led him to use state resources to conduct and, apparently, to break off his affair.
Bentley claims a “physical affair” never took place, but apologized for making “inappropriate remarks” to Mason.
In it’s findings, the state Ethics Commission said there was probable cause that the Republican governor broke state ethics and campaign finance laws. The commission referred the case to a prosecutor, who will decide whether to seek criminal charges.
Although governor Bently’s party controls both houses in the Legislature, Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh and House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, had urged the governor to step aside, to avoid an inevitably embarrassing escalation.
“It’s the only way to avoid taking the state on a long, painful and embarrassing journey whose ending is likely already known to us all,” Speaker McCutcheon said Friday.

Gov Robert Bently and Dianne Bently2.jpgAlabama Governor Robert BentleyRand ex-wife Dianne Bently. The former Alabams First Lady said she saw romantic messages on her ex-husband’s state-issued iPad

The violations that nailed governor Bently’s career were discovered during the investigation of his affair but were not directly related to it.
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. State law says major contributions should be reported within a few days. The other charge stemmed from his use of campaign funds to pay nearly $9,000 in legal bills for Mason last year.
“He did what he did and he deserves now to be called a criminal,” said Ellen Brooks, a retired district attorney overseeing the state investigation.
The plea agreement specified that Bentley must surrender campaign funds totaling nearly $37,000 within a week and the dermatologist  must perform 100 hours of community service as a physician. Furthermore he cannot seek public office again.
Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, becomes Alabama’s second female governor. The first was Lurleen Wallace, wife of segregationist and four-term Gov. George C. Wallace.
She ran as a surrogate for her  husband in 1966 when he couldn’t seek re-election because of term limits. She won, but died in office in 1968.
“The Ivey administration will be open. It will be transparent. And it will be honest,” Ivey said.

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