After over a year of scandal, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has resigned.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley resigned on Monday April 10 after pleading guilty to two campaign misdemeanors amid allegations that he misused public resources to pursue an affair with a former aide.
"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. Didn't matter to Bentley, now 74, that his colleagues had been calling for his resignation for years after tapes, recorded by Bentley's wife, surfaced in which the Republican governor professed his love for his 45-year-old mistress. Whether Bentley abused his position to cover up an affair was the subject of several investigations.
While certain search engines like Google still have to update search results for sites like the office of governor and lt.gov for Alabama, the official state websites' and social media accounts have been updated to reflect the change in power. He pledged he would not take a paycheck until Alabama reached full employment, or an overall unemployment rate of 5 percent.
In August of that year Bentley's wife Dianne filed for divorce and in September an agreement was finalized. She also provided investigators with audio recordings plus text messages and other evidence that raised questions about the governor's actions and truthfulness. It passed the House last week after a rare showing of bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled legislature. He repeatedly said he wouldn't quit, claiming there was no reason.
In a court hearing, Bentley appeared sullen and looked down at the floor as he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of failing to file a key contribution report and converting campaign contributions to personal to use.
There should be an embedded item here.
China strongly condemns church terrorist attacks in Egypt
Egypt's Health Ministry says a bomb has struck a church north of Cairo, killing at least 13 people and wounding 25 others. The attacks came a week before Coptic Easter and Pope Francis' scheduled arrival in the country.
Mason's role was highlighted in a 131-page report released Friday by the investigator leading impeachment efforts against Gov. Bentley, a report largely focused on the relationship between Mason and Bentley. He acknowledged wrongly using campaign money to pay nearly $9,000 for her legal bills and failing to properly report a $50,000 loan he made to his campaign. State law says major contributions should be reported within a few days.
A year ago recordings surfaced of him making sexually-charged comments to his political advisory. "Those are my first priorities as your 54th Governor", Ivey said.
When Kay Ivey was sworn in as Alabama's new governor on Monday, she made history becoming the first Republican woman to hold the office.
Bentley will be succeeded by Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey. His replacement Acting Alabama Chief Justice Lyn Stuart swore Ivey in. Before being elected lieutenant governor in 2010 and then re-elected in 2014, she served as state treasurer for eight years. "The Ivey administration will be open, it will be transparent and it will be honest". She won, but died in office in 1968.
As part of his plea deal, Bentley must surrender $37,000 in campaign funds and perform 100 hours of community service.
In addition, Bentley was required to forfeit all remaining campaign funds to the state.
Following his resignation address, he posted on Twitter his first message as former Governor.