Governor Robert Bentley, has resigned,
after pleading guilty to two campaign misdemeanors, amid allegations
that he misused public resources to pursue an affair with a former Aide.
He was also accused of intimidating officials in an attempt to cover it up.
“I have decided it is time for me to
step down as Alabama’s governor,” Bentley, a Republican who faced
mounting criticism from his own party, said at the State Capitol,
shortly after he was booked into the Montgomery County Jail and
Shortly afterwards, Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, a
former State Treasurer, was sworn in as Alabama’s 54th Governor, vowing
that her administration “will be open, transparent, and it will be
As part of a plea deal, Bentley agreed
to perform 100 hours of community service, and repay his campaign funds
of 8,912 dollars. He also forfeited the $36,000 in the campaign account.
In turn, the State Attorney-General’s office will not pursue felonies against him.
Bentley, 74, had faced an impeachment move from his Republican Legislators. He apologized to the citizens of the State.
“I’ve always believed the honour of serving as your Governor, was a calling that God placed on my life.
“Though, I have committed myself to
working to improve the lives of the people of our State, there have been
times that I have let you and our people down, and I’m sorry for that”.
Speculation about the Governor’s
inappropriate behavior, began in August 2015, when Bentley’s wife of 50
years, Dianne, abruptly filed for divorce, stating in court records,
that their marriage had suffered an “irretrievable breakdown”.
Speculations became rife after Bentley
fired the State’s top Law Enforcement Official, Spencer Collier, saying
that an internal investigation at the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency,
uncovered possible wrongdoing.
Within hours, Collier spoke out against
the Governor, alleging that he had seen and investigated sexual text
messages and audio recordings between Bentley and Mason.
“When I stand behind you, and I put my
arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts and just pull you
real close. I love that too,” Bentley said in one audio recordings.