After protesting up to the last moment that he would not resign as a result of the sex scandal that dogged his governorship for the last year, Alabama GOP Gov. Robert Bentley will resign today, according to The Hill.
Bentley, who had been married for fifty years, was the subject of an ethics probe because of his relationship with his senior political adviser, Rebekah Mason.
Bentley’s resignation comes only days after the state Ethics Commission found probable cause that Bentley had broken campaign finance rules. Bentley had been pressured by the state GOP to resign; The Hill reported that he reached a deal with legislators to quit and avoid an impeachment fight,
Bentley was elected in 2010; in 2015, his wife divorced him after she recorded several sexually suggestive phone conversations between him and Mason. He also sent some text messages to Mason that clearly indicated what was going on.
During the course of his relationship with Mason, Bentley threatened staffers, fired Spencer Collier, the head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, who would not cover up the illicit relationship, and used official vehicles to drive Mason around, according to a report by Montgomery attorney Jack Sharman. That report precipitated calls for Bentley to resign from various senior Alabama Republicans, including House Speaker Mac McCutcheon and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh. On Sunday, the state Republican Party’s executive committee told Bentley to resign.
Bentley will be succeeded by Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, Alabama’s second female governor.