Alabama governor resigns, avoids impeachment hearings over sex scandal, misuse of funds

Alabama governor resigns, avoids impeachment hearings over sex scandal, misuse of funds

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) has resigned ahead of impeachment hearings over alleged misuse of state resources and a sex scandal. The 74-year-old was booked into Montgomery County Jail on two misdemeanor charges, a result of a plea deal.

Bentley was charged Monday with two misdemeanors, the result of a plea deal to avoid felony charges. His bond was set at $300, according to the Alabama Media Group. The charges were one count of failure to disclose information on a statement of economic interest and failure to file campaign finance reports.

His resignation was confirmed in court in the form of a letter to Lieutenant Governor Kay Ellen Ivey, who will succeed Bentley to become Alabama’s 54th governor.

As of 5:59pm local time, Bentley was anticipated to speak to the media at any moment.

Bentley was fined $2,000, which included court costs, ordered to reimburse campaign funds of more than $8,000 by next week, and ordered to surrender all $36,912.40 in campaign funds to the state, according to Jenn Horton of WSFA.

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Bentley steadfastly refused to resign as late as Friday, following a report from the Alabama House Justice Committe’s report alleging Bentley used state law enforcment and other state resources to maintain a more-than-year-old relationship with his former aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason.

A judge blocked the impeachment hearings Friday, but the state supreme court reversed that decision on Saturday. Republican leaders have called on Bentley to step down.

Last year, an audio recording of Bentley having sexually suggestive conversations with Mason were leaked. Bentley always denied any physical relationship, but his wife filed for divorce in 2015.

Bentley was elected governor in 2011 and reelected in 2014. 

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