Wonders An American governor just resigned because of an ordinary affair

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - With Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigning one step ahead of an impeachment hearing related to an alleged affair, his successor becomes the state's second female governor and the first to rise through the political ranks on her own.

Ivey was sworn in as the new governor Monday night. Among the legal particulars against him were a charge of using campaign funds to pay legal bills for Mason, and a House Judiciary Committee report which concluded that the governor created an "atmosphere of intimidation" to cover up the relationship.

Bentley, 74, pleaded guilty to failing to file a major contribution report and knowingly converting campaign contributions to personal use.

Dianne Bentley saw her divorce from the governor made final a year ago, but only after she surreptitiously recorded her husband telling Mason he loved her and enjoyed putting his hands under her shirt.

Bentley, a state representative and dermatologist, was elected governor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

Voters in the deeply conservative state re-elected Moore as chief justice in 2012, but a state judicial panel suspended him from the post previous year over an order he issued opposing same-sex marriage.

"Today is both a dark day for Alabama yet also one of opportunity".

Republican state Rep. Ed Henry, who had introduced articles of impeachment against Bentley previous year, said, "I think we have a great day for Alabama, where justice was done". The first was Lurleen Wallace, wife of segregationist and four-term Gov. George Wallace. Collier claimed he was sacked for refusing to cover up Bentley's alleged affair.

After his guilty pleas, an Alabama judge ordered Bentley to serve one year of unsupervised probation, make restitution and give up his retirement benefits from the state. She headed out of the office for lunch.

On Friday, the governor made a plea for forgiveness from the steps of the Alabama Capitol, acknowledging that he had let people down but promising that he had done nothing illegal or anything to merit his removal from office.

Ivey spent her first day in office talking to staff and dismissed Jon Mason, the husband of the woman alleged to have had a romantic affair with Bentley.

Re-elected in 1990, Hunt was later revealed to have used state airplanes for moneymaking preaching trips. "I just found some obvious that things were wrong".

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.

Dianne also secretly recorded her husband speaking to Mason, reports said. Beyond Bentley's lengthy scandal that earned him the nickname "Luv Guv", former House Speaker Mike Hubbard, a Republican, was convicted on 12 felony ethics violations in June and left office, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. "And it will be honest", Ivey said.

The current total is down from six a year ago and well shy of the all-time high of nine, which was achieved in 2004 and again in 2007.

  • Larry Hoffman