While the main consideration of the Alabama Legislature’s Aug. 15 special session will be a proposal to create a state-sponsored lottery, State Auditor Jim Zeigler is asking House members to consider removing Gov. Robert Bentley from office while they’re in Montgomery.
Specifically, Zeigler has requested the House Judiciary Committee report “at least one article of impeachment” against Bentley during the special session — a request he made to committee Chairman Rep. Mike Jones earlier this week.In a speech to the Wetumpka Rotary Club on Tuesday, Zeigler asked that the Judiciary Committee schedule a meeting before or on Aug. 15 to consider an article of impeachment against Bentley so that the full House may discuss the issue during the special session itself.
Zeigler also took the opportunity to address the “slow process” used in previous attempts to remove the Governor from office back in April following allegations Bentley had maintained an affair with his former political advisor, Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
“There is widespread discouragement among Alabama citizens about the impeachment proceedings,” Zeigler said. “Many believe that the impeachment proceedings are not moving ahead. The people want the air cleared on the Bentley administration sooner rather than later.”
Zeigler said if an impeachment resolution does originate from the committee in time to be considered during the special session, the issue won’t likely be considered again until the next regular session in February of 2017. Zeigler said that is “simply too long to let this sore fester.”
“I do not buy the notion that a committee consideration of impeachment at all deliberate speed is not doing it right. Nor do I buy that a slow process like the one now being done is a correct and deliberate process,” Zeigler said. “Slowness does not mean doing it right and a speedy hearing does not mean doing it wrong.”
Zeigler has asked to be notified of any planned meetings relating to a Bentley impeachment, but as of Tuesday, said he’d yet to receive a reply from Jones.