Robert Bentley

Gov. Robert Bentley resigned on April 10, 2017 after pleading guilty to two misdemeanors related to campaign financing. Bentley had also been under fire for more than a year after intimate recordings between he and his political advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason were captured and released by his ex-wife and former First Lady Dianne Bentley. Lagniappe's collection of news stories and commentary is below.

Robert Bentley

AG confirms Bentley probe in recusal announcement

Alabama Attorney General Steven T. Marshall has recused himself from an ongoing investigation into the office of Gov. Robert Bentley, who appointed Marshall to his new position only five days ago to fill a vacancy left by the appointment of Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate. A news release from Marshall’s office on Wednesday offered the first official confirmation that an investigation of Bentley’s office has been occurring within the AG’s office — one that’s been suspected since allegations the governor used state funds to facilitate an affair with former staff member Rebekah Mason were first made public in...

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Bentley appoints Luther Strange to U.S. Senate

Gov. Robert Bentley announced his appointment of state Attorney General Luther Strange as Alabama’s next United States senator last Thursday. Strange, a Republican, replaces Jeff Sessions, who was recently confirmed as U.S. Attorney General. Strange had already announced his intention to run for the seat in a special election, even if he had not been chosen to serve by the governor in the interim. “I am greatly honored and humbled to accept the appointment to Alabama’s Senate seat vacated by Sen. Jeff Sessions,” Strange said. “Sen. Sessions’ commitment to public service is nearly unparalleled in Alabama history and his departure from the Senate leaves tremendous shoes to fill. I pledge to the people of Alabama to continue the same level of leadership as Jeff Sessions in consistently fighting to protect and advance the conservative values we all care about.” Strange was only one of about 20 candidates considered by the governor as a potential replacement for Sessions, but he had long been seen as the frontrunner. The appointment of Strange to replace Sessions brings up questions of a potential conflict of interest on the part of Gov. Bentley, as impeachment proceedings against Bentley were halted when then-Attorney General Strange asked that they be delayed because of his office’s “active investigations” about “related work.” “I respectfully request that the committee cease active interviews and investigation until I am able to...

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Bentley’s ‘Stink of the State’

(Below is a draft of the State of the State address Gov. Robert Bentley should have delivered to the Alabama Legislature, had he been realistic. It’s the 2017 “Stink of the State” Address.) Lt Gov. Ivey, Speaker McCutcheon, convicted felon Mike Hubbard, President Marsh, suspended Chief Justice Moore, members of the Alabama Legislature, my special guest, and my fellow Alabamians, After more than six years in office, it’s an honor and a surprise to still be the governor of Alabama. I know that during my time in Alabama’s top job, I’ve hurt quite a few people, including the most...

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Robert Bentley: Alabama’s man of mystery

(The following is one of billions of possible conversations that might have taken place at 30,000 feet last week aboard “Luv Guv 1” — Alabama’s state jet — as it hauled Gov. Robert Bentley, his ex-aide and alleged mistress Rebekah Mason, her husband Jon Mason and various office staff to the presidential inauguration. Let’s listen in …) Bentley: “Oh, Rebekah, I’m so glad you and Jim could be here today as we fly to our nation’s capital to watch President Trump take control. This is almost as exciting as checking an entire high school cheerleading squad for skin cancer!”...

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College accreditor wants Bentley SACked

The accreditation of Alabama’s more than two dozen community and technical colleges is safe — for now — but the agency tasked with overseeing institutions of higher education across the entire Southern United States has made it clear: When it comes to his role in Alabama’s higher education system, the accrediting body wants Gov. Robert Bentley sacked. In a letter to legislative leadership ahead of the upcoming regular session in Montgomery, Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ (SACS) Commission on Colleges, expressed concerns on behalf of her organization that Bentley’s positions as head of...

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