If indicted and convicted, Bentley could face up to 20 years in prison for each violation and a fine of up to $20,000 on each charge. William Athanas, Bentley's attorney, said the AEC found probable cause, not a conviction. "The battle goes on".
Bentley, who was accused previous year of maintaining an extramarital affair with Mason, and using State funds to do so, has denied any legal wrongdoing and has said that his affair with Mason wasn't physical.
A committee in the state's House of Representatives has been conducting a separate investigation and is expected to issue a report on Friday, which could kick off impeachment proceedings.
In his report to the ethics commission, Ziegler stated that Mason was paid by the nonprofit Alabama Council for Excellent Government while she was Bentley's "closest and most powerful advisor".
Prosecutor John Gibbs questions Alabama Governor Robert Bentley in the Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard trial on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 in Opelika, Ala.
Bentley made the statement Thursday after the Republican leader of the Alabama Senate said he should consider stepping down.
"I have no intentions of resigning and I am looking forward to continuing to work on important issues facing the state", he said. The Alabama attorney general's office is also investigating Bentley, though it is not clear if they are probing Collier's accusations or another matter.
The commission approved the vote on a series of 3-1 and 4-0 votes.
Commissioner Frank C. "Butch" Ellis, abstained from the votes. "This is not a finding of a violation, it is a finding of probable cause which is one of the lowest in the standards that we apply in these cases".
He added: "There's a great distance between probable cause and beyond a reasonable doubt".
"He is not capable of running the state with the decisions he is making", Henry said.
Recordings emerged of Bentley making suggestive comments toward Mason in 2014.
Weather forecast: Mainly sunny, relatively warm skies to prevail
With the wind remaining gentle and skies staying partly cloudy, it will be a almost picture ideal day in Central New York. If this rain holds together, some rain totals, especially along and north of I-10 and I-12, could climb above 6 inches.
The governor has denied wrongdoing.
How the allegations of sexual impropriety affected the commission's decision is unknown. If the members find probably cause laws were broken, then the findings would be sent to the Attorney General's office, which already has its own investigation. The motion failed. Commission member Charles Price, a retired Montgomery County Circuit Judge, said the Legislature had to make those determinations. But the initial ethics complaint came from an unexpected source.
After his dismissal, Collier sat down with reporters and told them he'd seen proof of Bentley's affair and accused the governor of using state resources to cover it up.
Mason, who is married, also resigned a year ago.
Under commission procedures, Bentley can offer his own witnesses.
The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin testimony during hearings concerning impeachment articles next week.
Zeigler's filing last did nothing to help his Hulk Hogan-Rowdy Piper relationship with Bentley. In addition, fifty National Guard soldiers will be prepared to respond. Gov. Bentley, state Sen.
The Alabama Ethics Commission agenda Wednesday included an executive session "to discuss matters relating to the character and reputation of certain public officials or employees".
Law enforcement limited media access throughout the building during the day, and parked SUVs outside a loading dock in an apparent attempt to shield witnesses from cameras. "We appreciate the time and effort that the commission spent on this". "The evidence was reviewed and tested multiple times by career lawyers". Athanas declined to say whether he testified.
On one tape, Bentley could be heard saying: "When I stand behind you, and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands [unintelligible] and just pull you real close".
"I run the people's law firm, and that's my responsibility". We disagree strongly with the result.