Published: Mon, April 17, 2017
U.S. | By Vera Richards

Alabama governor halts impeachment, not disparaging report

Alabama governor halts impeachment, not disparaging report

Ross Garber, an attorney for Bentley, said his legal team would submit briefs to the Supreme Court by 1pm CDT today, the deadline set by the justices. Bentley vowed again he won't resign even as his political troubles mounted an. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley speaks during a news conference on Friday, April 7, 2017, outside the Alabama Capitol building in Montgomery, Ala.

The Alabama Supreme Court Saturday lifted a temporary restraining order blocking impeachment hearings against Gov. Robert Bentley.

The governor is said to have threatened Hannah, telling her "you'll never work in this state if you tell anyone", and in a later confrontation told the woman "watch yourself".

Bentley first met Mason, a former television reporter, at their Tuscaloosa church where he taught a couples' Sunday school class. Bentley, who is in his second term, is accused of inappropriate use of state resources.

If the House Judiciary Committee recommends impeachment then, under the current schedule - which Bentley is fighting - the state's House will consider it by May 20, according to local news reports.

"I do not plan to resign", he said. "We are pitiful", Bentley wrote in one message.

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Bentley obstructed the legislative investigation by refusing to cooperate and redacting text messages and other material requested by the committee, the report said. He would frequently see in passing, or reflected on Governor Bentley's passenger window in the vehicle, emojis in Governor Bentley's text messages.

In the lawsuit, Bentley calls the impeachment process "fundamentally unfair" and asks a court to block the release of the report by the Judiciary Committee's special counsel.

During their investigation, the special counsel staff found that the governor had ordered law enforcement officers to attempt to recover copies of the audiotape from people who may have possessed them and, at one point, end his relationship with Mason for him. Collier said Mason wielded so much power that she was considered the "de facto governor".

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

All of this came after Senate President Pro Temp Del Marsh made a similar statement yesterday, calling on the governor to resign after the Ethics Commission announced their findings Wednesday.

The order had halted the impeachment process until hearings could be held on Bentley's claim that lawmakers did not give enough time to present an adequate defence. Garber said that since 1929 only two US governors have been removed by impeachment and both were under criminal indictment.

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