Kay Ivey takes Alabama governor's seat after Bentley scandal
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 16:03
Bentley resigned Monday after facing possible impeachment over allegations that he used state resources to carry out and then hide an extramarital affair with a former top aide: Rebekah Mason, one of his campaign consultants who is also married.
Bentley, 74, was embroiled in controversy ever since recordings surfaced a year ago of him making sexually charged comments to political adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason, 45.
The state's attorney general, Luther Strange was reportedly considering an investigation into the affair, but then Bentley appointed Strange to replace Jeff Sessions in the Senate after President Trump appointed him to the Attorney General spot.
Robert Bentley resigned after pleading guilty to two misdemeanour campaign finance violations as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. She headed out of the office for lunch. This is expected to be the first of many staff changes under Ivey.
Bentley, a medical doctor who served in the United States Air Force, served two terms after getting elected Governor in 2010.
"I love you. I love to talk to you", the governor said to Mason in one of the phone calls.
The extra-marital affair and its embarrassing details were brutal enough - as a candidate, Bentley frequently touted his Christian values - but the former governor's widespread misuse of public resources made this a criminal matter. "I ask for your help, your patience as together we steady the ship of state and improve Alabama's image". It contributed to one of the other most notorious recent stories coming out of Alabama politics: the attempt to close driver's license offices in predominantly black counties.
At one point, Robert Bentley is heard suggesting, "If we're going to do what we did the other day, we're going to have to start locking the door".
Formerly the state's top cop, Collier said he was terminated for disobeying Bentley's order that he not cooperate with the attorney general's investigation of House Speaker Mike Hubbard. Reports state that inappropriate text messages also exist.
The Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative says Alabama judges have overridden jury recommendations 112 times since 1976.
Ivey's predecessor has been accused of coercing state employees into helping cover up an affair with his senior political advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
Amid the fallout, she eventually dropped out of the governor's race and successfully ran for the lieutenant governor seat.
Alabama's Republican Governor, Robert Bentley, stepped down yesterday. There's going to be a whole lot of pressure for that, given that three of Alabama's last six governors have found themselves afoul of the law for abusing their position.
Bentley also repeatedly said he would not resign from office because he had done nothing wrong.
She graduated from Auburn University in 1967 and has worked as a classroom teacher, banker, administrator in higher education and assistant director of the state's industrial recruitment agency.
Republican State Representative Ed Henry had filed those articles of impeachment about a year ago.