Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, who once said he could not vote for Donald Trump due to the “offensive” comments he made about women, resigned in disgrace on Monday over allegations he used public resources to carry out and conceal an affair with his former top aide.
The Washington Post reported that on the same day he resigned, Bentley also pled guilty to two misdemeanor charges related to covering up the alleged affair, one for failing to file a major contribution report and another for knowingly using campaign contributions for personal use. Bentley had been fighting the allegations for over a year, but he resigned after state lawmakers opened impeachment hearings against him and state Republican officials called for him to step down.
“I love the people of this state with all my heart,” he said as he announced his resignation. Minutes before, Bentley was forced to pose for a mugshot at the Montgomery County Jail.
A 3,000 page report was released by the Alabama House Judiciary Committee attorney last Friday detailing the various indiscretions made by the governor as he tried to keep his affair with his married aide, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, a secret.
The Alabama Ethics Commission recommended last week that Bentley be charged with four felonies related to campaign finance and ethics fraud tied to his affair, including an allegation he illegally loaned Mason campaign money for legal funds. Bentley came with the state attorney general’s office that he would plead guilty to misdemeanor charges in an effort to avoid felony charges and potential jail time.
Bentley is now facing up to a year of probation and 100 hours of community service, and he must also turn over some $37,000 in campaign funds to the state. Jail time is still a possibility for him as well.
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