BREAKING: Multiple sources are confirming that Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has agreed to resign instead of facing impeachment by the State Legislature, and that he will do so later this afternoon following a 3:30pm staff meeting.
UPDATE, 2:30pm: The Governor is currently meeting with his staff. He’ll then meet with his cabinet, after which he will hold a press conference. After resigning, Lt. Governor Kay Ivey will immediately be sworn in as Governor in the old Senate chambers.
UPDATE, 2:45pm: HUGE: Rumors from multiple sources that warrants are about to be issued for the arrest of Governor Robert Bentley and Rebekah Mason.
UPDATE: 3:07pm: Sources now saying that Robert Bentley has agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges. No word yet on how many, or which ones.
UPDATE: 3:48pm: Governor Bentley is supposedly on his way to the courthouse to be booked before heading to his resignation speech.
UPDATE: 3:53pm: Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has been arrested, and is being booked into the Montgomery County Courthouse.
UPDATE: 4:21: Bentley has been charged with only two campaign finance related misdemeanors (by the office of the AG that he recently appointed). No jail time is expected, and bond is set at $600.
UPDATE: 4:54: FORMER Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has pled guilty to two campaign finance related Class A misdemeanors. No jail time, 12 months unsupervised probation. Has to pay back misreported money & pay fines. 100 hours of community service.
UPDATE: 6pm: Governor Bentley has given his resignation speech and
This news breaks as the Alabama House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee is currently in session holding an Impeachment Hearing, the conclusion of which is effectively a foregone conclusion at this point. Bentley is also facing potential indictment on a variety of criminal charges from multiple law enforcement agencies. Most of the allegations revolve around the cover up of his affair with Rebekah Mason, a senior political advisor. The Alabama Ethics Commission last week referred four separate charges against the “Luv Guv” to prosecution relating to various ethics and campaign finance violations.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, President Pro Tem of the Senate, and the Alabama Republican Party Steering Committee have all publicly requested the Governor’s resignation before today.
As soon as Governor Bentley has officially resigned, Lt. Governor Kay Ivey will be sworn in as Governor, becoming Alabama’s second female governor in state history.
This would have been the first time ever that an Alabama Governor would have been impeached. This also marks the third head of a branch of the Alabama government to leave office due to ethics-related investigations in a 12-month period. Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard was convicted last year on 12 felony ethics charges, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roy Moore was suspended earlier this year by the Judicial Inquiry Committee.
There is no word currently on what deal may possibly have been reached between Bentley and the various law enforcement agencies investigating him in exchange for his resignation.
This story is still developing and will be updated.