|Rebekah Mason and husband, Jon Mason|
Recent statements from the governor indicate he is determined to stay in office. That might greatly enhance his chances of winding up in prison.
Bentley increasingly finds himself backed into a corner, according to a report earlier this month at Inside Alabama Politics (IAP), a highly regarded subscription newsletter. From IAP:
The cards are stacking up against embattled Governor Robert Bentley, who is finding he has fewer chips to use with each round of play.
. . . according to multiple sources IAP spoke with, the question to be considered is: If Bentley is impeached, does it put him in double jeopardy against any criminal charges he may face subsequently? The U.S. Constitution protects Bentley from twice facing legal jeopardy for the same offense. However the most extreme punishment Bentley can face with impeachment is removal from office, whereas if he is convicted in court of a felony he could also face jail time.
Other sources in close proximity to this fiasco have told IAP that it is practically a given Bentley will face indictment of criminal charges as a result of grand jury proceedings. If that is true, Bentley may find it a more judicious use of money to pay for legal defense from criminal charges and resign from office before he is impeached. But will he?
Bentley recently responded to rumors that he is about to resign with one of the most inane statements in the history of politics. From al.com:
Speaking to reporters in Birmingham, Bentley said he had "no intention" leaving before the end of his second term.
"I have no intention of not doing what God has called me to do and that is serve the people of this state," Bentley said in remarks reported by WBRC.
"I have done absolutely nothing," he continued. "All I have done is serve the people of the state of Alabama. I can assure the people of Alabama I have never done anything illegal. I have never done anything unethical. My story has not been told."
Where to begin with this hokum? In terms of governance, "I have done absolutely nothing," might be the most truthful statement Bentley's ever made. Let's recall this is the same right-wing "man of God" who was caught on audio recordings talking about caressing Rebekah Mason's boobs and exploring her nether regions -- while both were married. That's not unethical? That, somehow, is serving the people of Alabama?
On April 5, the Alabama Ethics Commission will hold a meeting to discuss the direction of the investigation of Gov. Robert Bentley. What is also expected is secret grand jury type testimony from witnesses as to the allegations of impropriety by Bentley.
Sources tell IAP that several witnesses may be called to testify about what they know concerning Bentley’s misuse of state resources in his alleged affair with advisor Rebekah Mason and whether he broke campaign finance laws.
The Alabama House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted in early March to continue the investigation of impeachment articles against Bentley. The Judiciary Committee voted to direct special counsel Jack Sharman to resume the investigation after it was sidetracked by then Attorney General Luther Strange. . . .
What is also being overlooked is that the state is picking up the tab for legal work on both sides of the probe. Special Counsel Jack Sharman, according to some reports, will take in nearly $350,000 for his work and Gov. Bentley’s attorney Ross Garber could make around $100,000…all taxpayer funded.
Should the Ethics Commission vote to bring charges it will likely start the process of removing Bentley from office.
So, lawyers get rich, and Alabama taxpayers get screwed -- all because of "Luv Guv" Bentley. And a state with enormous untapped potential continues to tread water -- or slowly sink, depending on how you look at it.
Thankfully, the "Luv Guv's" days might be numbered.