Restraining order filed by Gov. Robert Bentley stayed by Alabama Supreme Court

Alabama governor defiant as sex scandal trouble mountsMore

On Wednesday, April 5, a state ethics commission said Bentley, whom local media has christened the "Luv Guv", may have violated campaign finance laws. He did not take questions.

The governor's legal team has argued that the proposed hearings are fundamentally unfair and do not give the governor the adequate opportunity to respond to accusations.

After allegations of a scandal broke past year, Bentley apologized for making inappropriate remarks to married staffer Rebekah Mason, while denying allegations of a physical affair. The mild-mannered dermatologist and former Baptist deacon has acknowledged making personal mistakes but maintained he did nothing illegal or to merit his removal from office. Sharman wrote that Bentley encouraged an "an atmosphere of intimidation" in his administration to keep his romantic relationship secret and sent two state law enforcement officers to try to track down and retrieve a recording of a sexually-charged phone call he made to a woman presumed to be Mason. Collier said Mason wielded so much power that she was considered the "de facto governor".

Bentley continued to deny any wrongdoing and criticized unnamed people for "taking pleasure in shaming" him and his family. State Auditor Jim Zeigler accused Bentley of using state resources to pursue an affair with Mason, a former television anchor who became so powerful, she was known as Alabama's "de facto governor".

The committee is seeking to overturn a judge's order that halted impeachment hearings that has been set to begin Monday.

"We believe in the context of that, it is not a violation of the law", Byrne said.

Bentley faces four charges, or articles, of impeachment: willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency and moral turpitude.

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The report included thousands of pages of exhibits, including text messages of Mason and Bentley exchanging declarations of love and affection.

Lawyers for both sides must file briefs with the Supreme Court by Monday morning, but it appears impeachment can proceed.

"It's time to put this in front of us, let's address it, and let's get it behind us", Jones said on the floor of the House on Thursday.

The state's ethics commission last week said it found probable cause that Bentley broke ethics and campaign law and referred the matter for possible prosecution. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, who generally avoided direct comment on Bentley's woes, called on the governor to resign, saying he could no longer be effective.

"It's disappointing to hear the committee will move forward while the Supreme Court is hearing the case", said Bentley attorney Ross Garber in a prepared statement.

But lawmakers, including ample Republicans, assert Bentley's failure to deal effectively with the yearlong scandal has impeded his ability to serve the state. Garber said that since 1929 only two US governors have been removed by impeachment and both were under criminal indictment.

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