Embattled Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned today after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges, ending two years of scandal and intrigue that resulted from an affair with one of his top political advisors.
As part of the plea deal, Bentley will submit to 12 months of unsupervised probation, surrender more than $36,000 in campaign funds and will serve 100 hours of public service. He can never run for office.
Montgomery County Judge Troy Massey sentenced Bentley to 30-day suspended jail sentence – meaning he will spend no time in jail.
Jail records show that Bentley posted $600 bond.
He spent Sunday “negotiating terms of a resignation with state lawmakers and law enforcement,” according to the Alabama Political Reporter.
Bentley, 74, has battled to outlast a scandal involving recordings that surfaced in 2016 of him making sexually explicit comments to his former aide.
Bentley’s wife of 50 years, Dianne, divorced him in 2015.
Citing multiple unnamed sources, WHNT reported that Bentley will resign Monday.
Last week, the Alabama Ethics Commission said they had found reason to believe he committed four crimes, all of them felonies, in his attempt to cover up the relationship with aide Rebekah Mason.
“Gov. Bentley directed law enforcement to advance his personal interests and, in a process characterized by increasing obsession and paranoia, subjected career law enforcement officers to tasks intended to protect his reputation,” Sharman wrote in a report released Friday.
According to the Alabama Reporter article, talk of Bentley’s resignation began on Friday with legislators set to begin impeachment hearings Monday.
The Alabama Republican Party on Sunday called for Bentley to step down.
AL.com columnist John Archibald wrote on Monday that, “Sources in Montgomery say his lawyers have been involved in negotiations to step down from the governorship and plead to lesser charges, allowing Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey to step up as governor. Sources believe he will resign the governorship by Wednesday.”
Archibald added, “It is possible that Bentley, who has changed his mind often during his term, could change his mind.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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