UPDATE – 4/29, 3:19 p.m. EST: Gov. Bentley held a press conference from his state capitol office in Montgomery Friday afternoon, responding to the possible impeachment charges announced Thursday.
“I’ve done nothing — absolutely nothing — that is illegal or unethical,” Bentley said.
“I don’t want difficult times to come my way, but I have to rise above those difficult times,” the Governor continued. “How can they make me stronger? Because I’m not going to give up.”
Former Alabama Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier has accused Bentley of firing him for failing to cover up a corruption case and carrying on an affair with a political adviser.
Previously, Henry obtained the necessary 11 signatures to start the process, but the Alabama House of Representatives voted to change the rule to a minimum of 21 on Tuesday, which the Republican lawmaker has since exceeded by two.
Specifically, Rep. Henry is accusing Bentley of corruption and dereliction of duty as Alabama’s chief executive as the justification for a legislative investigation.
“We feel quite certain that the governor neglected his duty, misused his office and misused state resources,” Henry said.
In March, audio recordings were made public which indicate that Bentley was carrying on a sexual relationship with one of his top political aides.
The aide, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, resigned on March 30.
Henry also announced that a judicial committee will commence in the next two to three weeks to deliberate on the formal impeachment articles, and then vote on whether to bring the charges to the state House floor.
Earlier in April, Bentley released the following statement: “There are no grounds for impeachment, and I will vigorously defend myself and my administration from this political attack.”
If the House ultimately votes to impeach Gov. Bentley, the state Senate will act as the jury and decide whether to finally remove him from office.
[WVTM-13 Birmingham] [AL.com] [CNN] [WHNT-19 News] [Photo courtesy WKRG.com]