"Love gov" no more: Robert Bentley pleads guilty to two misdemeanors, resigns as Alabama's governor

Bentley was fined $7,000 and ordered to repay his campaign fund $8,912.40 within a week

By Tatiana Baez
April 11, 2017 2:43AM (UTC)
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Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley stands during a news conference Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at the state Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. Bentley admitted Wednesday he made inappropriate remarks to a top female staffer two years ago, but he denied accusations that he had a physical affair. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP) NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT (AP)

Robert Bentley resigned as governor of Alabama on Monday following a sex scandal and several calls for impeachment. His resignation was connected to an earlier plea agreement involving two misdemeanors, The New York Times reports.

The disgraced former governor was booked in a Montgomery County jail on Monday afternoon. He was charged with failing to file a major contribution report and converting campaign contributions to personal use, according to the Times. One of the charges involved a payment to a law firm representing Rebekah Caldwell Mason, the former adviser he had an affair with.


Bentley pleaded guilty to both charges and was initially sentenced to 30 days in jail. The sentence has since been suspended, but Bentley will now face 12 months of probation.

He was fined $7,000 and has to repay his campaign fund $8,912.40 within a week. He was also sentenced to “100 hours of community service in his capacity as a licensed physician,” Times reporter Alan Blinder wrote on Twitter.

Bentley announced the resignation at the State Capitol, but mentioned neither the recent charges nor the fact that his plea agreement mandated him to leave office.


“I have decided it is time for me to step down as Alabama’s governor,” Bentley said, adding that he was “sorry” for letting people down.

“I’ve always believed the honor of serving as your governor was a calling that God placed on my life. I’ve not always made the right choices. . . . I have spent the last year in deep and earnest prayer over our state and our people. I love our people with all of my heart, and I want nothing more than to serve them.”

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, the former state treasurer, will take Bentley’s place. She will be the second woman in history to serve as Alabama’s governor.

Bentley’s leave was expected since news broke of his affair with Mason, who served as his senior political adviser, last year. Bentley, 74, was married to his wife for over 50 years, and Mason was married with children.


However, the urgent push for Bentley’s impeachment began on Friday after a report that alleged he fostered “an atmosphere of intimidation” was made public.

Tatiana Baez

Tatiana Baez is mostly Salon's social media coordinator, but she also writes here and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn and tweets.

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Alabama Governor Rebekah Caldwell Mason Robert Bentley The New York Times