Alabama Leaders Call for Governor’s Resignation

(CN) – A long-simmering political drama in Alabama appears to be coming to a boil as several state leaders have asked for Gov. Robert Bentley’s resignation this week.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh called on the Alabama governor to step down on Thursday, while Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon joined the call on Friday.

The calls follow a Wednesday announcement by the Alabama Ethics Commission, finding probable cause that Bentley violated state ethics and campaign finance laws.

Marsh, a Republican from Anniston, said that the scandal has affected the state’s ability to conduct its business, citing important issues like education and prison reform.

In a Friday press conference, Bentley again apologized to the people of Alabama for his past behavior but also said that he would not resign.

“I do not plan to resign,” Bentley said from the steps of the Capitol in Montgomery. “I have done nothing illegal. If the people want to know if I misused state resources, the answer is simply no. I have not.”

A report by the Alabama House Judiciary Committee’s Special Counsel is expected to be released on Friday, detailing its investigation into impeachment charges against the governor.

Bentley’s attorneys filed a motion on Friday seeking to block the report’s release.

The committee is scheduled to hold impeachment hearings on Monday morning.

In a 3-1 vote, the Ethics Commission found probable cause that Bentley had violated the state’s ethics law by using public resources for personal interests. The commission also found probable cause related to three violations of the Fair Campaign Practices Act.

The governor’s troubles stem from a controversial relationship he had with former political advisor Rebekah Mason. Bentley has admitted to making inappropriate comments to Mason but denied having a physical affair with her.

On Friday, Bentley questioned the motives of his detractors and called upon them to “please stop now.”

“Our state doesn’t need this anymore,” Bentley said. “Our people don’t need this. Exposing embarrassing details of my past personal life, as has happened in the past and as I’m told will happen again, will not create one single job, will not pass one budget, it will not help one child get a good education and it will not help any child get good health care.”

 

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