Bentley Out, Ivey In
Amid a sex scandal and campaign finance violations, Governor Robert Bentley, the 53rd governor of Alabama, resigned today.
Bentley was elected governor of Alabama in 2011 with over 58% of the popular vote and over 230,000 more total votes, which was the largest margin by a Republican in an open-seat race in Alabama history. Before he began his career in politics in 2002 as a state representative, he was a licensed dermatologist, obtaining his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine.
Bentley’s wife, Dianne Bentley, filed for divorce in 2015 after 50 years of marriage. In March 2016, Governor Bentley admitted to making inappropriate remarks to his senior political advisor, Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
The Alabama Ethics Commission stated Wednesday that they had reason to believe Governor Bentley had committed felonies related to his affair with Mason. Two days later, a lawyer hired by the State House of Representatives revealed newfound information on Governor Bentley on his behavior away from the public eye.
One of the felonies the Ethics Commission recommended Bentley be tried for was an allegation that he loaned campaign money to Mrs. Mason illegally.
Governor Bentley agreed to two “failure to disclose” misdemeanor charges in a plea deal offered by the state attorney general’s office. This was too avoid felony charges and jail time.
The plea deal states that Bentley will potentially be on probation for a year and must do 100 hours of community service, which he will fulfill as a dermatologist. He also must repay the funds he used illegally, which amounts to approximately $37,000 and will never be able to hold public office again.
Kay Ivey, the former Alabama Lt. Gov., was sworn in as the 54th Governor of Alabama at 6:00 p.m. CST.
Do you think this was the right move for the State of Alabama? Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments with us below.
Featured Image via Library of Congress