Alabama’s former Gov. Robert Bentley agreed yesterday afternoon to a deal that forced him to resign the office of governor, plead guilty to two misdemeanors and agree to never again hold public office. The action was swiftly followed by the swearing in of Kay Ivey as the 54th Governor of the State of Alabama by Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart.
Bentley’s agreement to leave his post was negotiated by his attorneys and by lawyers for the Alabama Attorney General’s office. The deal requires Bentley to repay the state for misused funds and perform community service. In response, the state attorney general’s office will not pursue other felonies against Bentley, including those referred for prosecution last week by the Alabama Ethics Commission.
Bentley agreed to:
- Resign immediately.
- Plead guilty to two campaign violations: converting campaign contributions for personal gain and failing to report campaign contributions.
- Serve one year of probation.
- Perform 100 hours of unpaid community service as a physician.
- Repay the $8,912 his campaign spent on the legal fees of former aide Rebekah Mason, whose involvement with Bentley led to the charges against him.
- Forfeit all the money in his campaign account (currently $36,912).
Ivey, a Republican who was elected State Treasurer prior to her election as lieutenant governor, will become the first woman governor in Alabama since Lurleen B. Wallace. Wallace, the wife of George Wallace, was elected in 1966.
Ivey remarked, “Today is both a dark day for Alabama yet also one of opportunity. I ask for your help and patience as we together steady the Ship of State and improve Alabama’s image. Those are my first priorities as your 54th Governor.”
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