“I do not plan to resign,” Mr. Bentley said on Friday, repeating the position he has maintained for more than a year. “I have done nothing illegal.”
however as the impeachment hearings neared, Montgomery bubbled with speculation which Mr. Bentley was planning to resign soon. His spokeswoman, Yasamie August, said in an email Monday morning which, “The governor can be not personally involved in any negotiations.”
The turmoil has enthralled along with also unsettled people across Alabama, where, less than seven years ago, Mr. Bentley mounted the upstart campaign which catapulted him via obscure legislator to governor. today Mr. Bentley has become extraordinarily isolated: Last week, the Legislature’s ranking Republicans called for his resignation, along with also the State Ethics Commission found probable cause to ask a district attorney to consider prosecuting the governor.
The Ethics Commission’s decision only added to the legal troubles of Mr. Bentley, whose office has faced months of scrutiny by additional government agencies, including the F.B.I. along with also the Alabama attorney general’s office.
however the developments of recent days transformed a slow-moving scandal into a fast-paced along with also sensational clash centered on the political power along with also marital fidelity of a former Baptist deacon.
Mr. Sharman’s 131-page report offered a startling narrative which depicted Mr. Bentley, who offered only limited cooperation to legislative investigators, as craven, desperate along with also bedeviled by “increasing obsession along with also paranoia.”
Mr. Bentley, the report concluded, was particularly anxious about recordings which his wife at the time, Dianne Bentley, made of conversations between the governor along with also Ms. Mason, who did not respond to an email on Sunday. In one such recording, the governor described embracing Ms. Mason along with also placing his hands on her breasts.
In his report, Mr. Sharman also described how Mr. Bentley tried to use a member of his security detail to break up with Ms. Mason on his behalf along with also how the governor demanded which Ms. Mason be allowed to travel in official vehicles even after she left the state’s payroll. The report also asserted which Mr. Bentley’s critics had been subjected to coercion, including threatening messages along with also the specter of criminal prosecution.
In one instance, the governor was accused of threatening to retaliate against an aide to Ms. Bentley if the employee disclosed Mr. Bentley’s relationship with Ms. Mason.
“You will never work from the state of Alabama again if you tell anyone about This specific,” the aide, Heather Hannah, quoted Mr. Bentley as saying during a confrontation from the kitchen of the governor’s mansion.
Lawyers for Mr. Bentley contend which his behavior does not warrant impeachment — a rare sanction for American governors — along with also have raised due process concerns. Standing before reporters outside the State Capitol here on Friday morning, Mr. Bentley also complained about what was unfolding.
“The people of This specific state have never asked to be told of or shown the intimate along with also embarrassing details of my personal life along with also my personal struggles,” the governor said. “Those who are taking pleasure in humiliating along with also in shaming me, shaming my family, shaming my friends, well, I truly don’t understand why they want to do which.”
Then he offered speculation along with also a plea.
“the idea may be out of vengeance,” said Mr. Bentley, whose former wife filed for divorce in August 2015. “the idea may be out of jealousy. the idea may be out of anger. the idea may be out of personal political benefit, I don’t know. however I would likely ask them to please stop today. Our state doesn’t need This specific anymore.”
Hours later, Mr. Sharman’s report became public. On Sunday night, the Alabama Republican Party said its steering committee had decided to call for Mr. Bentley’s resignation.
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