Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned from office Monday and pleaded guilty to two counts of violating campaign finance rules. Bentley’s resignation comes as the state’s House of Representatives begins hearings on his impeachment following allegations he abused his position as the state’s chief executive to cover up an affair with his former aide, Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
Mr. Bentley, 74, repeatedly denied having a physical relationship with Ms. Mason and long insisted that he had not broken any laws, but he was a subject of multiple investigations, including reviews by the F.B.I. and the Alabama attorney general’s office.
Shortly after Mr. Bentley pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and was booked into Montgomery County Jail, he announced he would resign within an hour and never seek public office again. The plea deal also states he will waive all retirement benefits, perform 100 hours of community service in his capacity as a medical doctor and surrender more than $50,000 in fines, reimbursements and campaign funds.
“I can no longer allow my family, my dear friends, my dedicated staff and cabinet to be subjected to consequences that my past actions have brought upon them,” he said at a Monday afternoon press conference.
Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey succeeded Mr. Bentley. “The Ivey administration will be open, it will be transparent and it will be honest,” Ms. Ivey said.
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