Alabama Governor’s sex scandal and attempted cover-up by law enforcement led to his resignation after he was sent to jail. In 2015, the Governor’s wife, Diane Bentley filed for divorce after 50 years of marriage.
At the beginning of his second term, he had an affair with one of his staffers, Rebecca Mason. His wife found out due to his own inability to be technically savvy. Vox reported that
“Bentley mistakenly sent a text to his wife, Dianne Bentley, reading, ‘I love you Rebekah,’ along with an emoji of a red rose. And we know that due to his lack of technical savvy, his text exchanges, made with a state-provided iPhone, also appeared on a state-provided iPad he’d given to his wife as a gift.”
Initially, Bentley refused to step down from his position which drip-drop effect of information leaking which to led the reveal of the very embarrassing information mentioned above.
Bentley attempted to cover up this scandal by using government resources. Specifically, Vox reported that”
“Stan Stabler of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency saw a text message from Mason on Bentley’s cellphone. Stabler notified his then-boss, Ray Lewis, of the sexual nature of the text message, and three days later, Lewis went to Paul Collier, then the head of the state law enforcement agency, with the information.”
Vox further reported that “Lewis also had an audio recording. The tape, whose contents have since become public, was originally made by Bentley’s wife, and makes the existence of an affair perfectly clear: “When I stand behind you, and I put my arms around you,” Bentley says on the tape, “and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands (unintelligible) and just pull you real close. I love that, too.”
Collier went to his boss, Governor Bentley, to how this could negatively impact his family and how this raises legal concerns due to the fact he was using a state-sponsored Ipad to communicate.
Collier said, “I told Governor Bentley that I loved him like a father and that there was nothing I wouldn’t do for him, except lie to a grand jury.”
Bentley responded by firing him. The Governor claims that he fired one of his most essential staff members due to “financial improprieties in his department.”
Last week, the Alabama State legislator finished their special investigation and concluded that they would be considering impeachment charges. They concluded that “directed law enforcement to advance his personal interests and, in a process characterized by increasing obsession and paranoia, subjected career law enforcement officers to tasks intended to protect his reputation.”
How exactly did he use law enforcement to advance his personal interest?
Vox claims, “Bentley also used Wendell Ray Lewis, chief of the state’s Dignitary Protection Unit, to try to help him cover up the affair, asking Lewis to chastise women staffers in the governor’s office for gossiping about it, directing him to break up with Mason on his behalf, ordering him to travel to Tuscaloosa to convince Bentley’s son to turn over the tapes, and then marginalizing Lewis after he attempted to intervene to block the use of state resources to further the affair and the cover-up.”
This drawn out scandal has concluded with Governor Bentley resigning and pleading guilty in exchange for not being prosecuted for any felonies and under the provision that he can never run for public office again. Nevertheless, he was charged with two misdemeanors.