Alabama Governor Robert Bentley was booked at the Montgomery County Jail today on charges relating to an inappropriate relationship he had with his top aide and the use of state dollars to cover up the affair.
The fiasco unraveled to the public's eye following Governor Bentley's firing of Alabama's Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier on March 22, 2016, alleging misuse of state funds. However, an audit by the state found that Collier's firing was unjustified.
Disgruntled at being wrongfully terminated, Collier alleged that the governor was engaging in an extramarital affair with Rebekah Mason, an advisor to Governor Bentley. Moreover, Collier insisted that there is damning text messages and audio recordings that prove the infidelity.
Overwhelmed by the heat and after some of the messages and recordings were revealed, Governor Bentley apologized to the people of Alabama for how these messages could have been construed. However, he denied having an affair.
Under pressure from the threat of impeachment and ethical violation charges, Governor Bentley did not give way to his opposition, refusing to resign as governor despite the Ethics Commission finding felonious conduct on his part.
When the impeachment process officially began on April 10, 2017, Governor Bentley was arrested and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges: failing to file a major contribution report and converting campaign contributions for personal use, all in an attempt to cover up the affair.
Governor Bentley could have faced multiple felony counts and more time in jail if he did not accept the plea deal.
With a torn and embarrassed Bentley now out of power, Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey took his place as the new governor of Alabama.