Just a few days after he said he did not plan to resign from office, former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) did just that, stepping down on Monday in order to avoid impeachment amid a sex scandal.
Bentley pleaded guilty to charges of knowingly converting campaign money to personal use and failing to report campaign contributions. For more than a year, allegations that he used state resources to hide an affair he was having with a top adviser, Rebekah Mason, swirled around Bentley, and last week, the state's Ethics Commission announced it had found enough evidence to conclude that Bentley had committed four felonies. The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Saturday that Bentley's impeachment hearing could begin Monday.
After announcing his resignation, Bentley told the people of Alabama during a press conference he "always believed the honor of serving as your governor is a calling that God placed on my life." He admitted that at times he "failed," but he always "tried to live up to the high expectations that people place on the person who holds this esteemed office. There have been times that I have let you and our people down, and I'm sorry for that. I can no longer allow my family, my dear friends, my dedicated staff, and cabinet to be subjected to the consequences that my past actions have brought on them. I want you to know, I love our people with all my heart." He was replaced by Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey (R), Alabama's second female governor.