Locals react to newly appointed Alabama Governor

Kari Scott
April 15, 2017

Mason was appointed by former Gov. Robert Bentley (R-Ala.) back in 2011, and he was sacked this morning.

Bentley was frequently photographed at a variety of economic development announcements both before and after the scandal that ended his leadership Monday. The former governor's lawyers had said the money was for legal representation as the Alabama Ethics Commission considered the appropriateness of gubernatorial staffers, including Mason, being paid by outside sources instead of being on state payroll. He did not mention the charges to which he pleaded guilty, or the deal with prosecutors that mandated his resignation.

Bentley's departure comes with the Republican House speaker and the state's chief justice also ousted. In the speech, the former governor said he'd spoken with Ivey, 72, about a "positive and peaceful" transfer of power.

One misdemeanor charge against Bentley stemmed from a $50,000 loan he made to his campaign in November that investigators said he failed to report until January.

The Supreme Court justice here Roy Moore was removed from the bench for failing to abide by the U.S. Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling. Lurleen Wallace was the first female to hold the position when she served from 1967-68.

"By the same token, other Republican operatives, like legislators or those who want to run statewide, want this issue to go away", he said. "And it will be honest", Ivey said.

The same laws regarding succession don't cover naming a new Lieutenant Governor, however, meaning the post will technically remain vacant until the 2018 general election.

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He also pleaded guilty to two charges related to covering up the alleged affair, one for failing to file a major contribution report and another for knowingly using campaign contributions for personal use, according to the state's attorney-general office. Robert Bentley, who resigned Monday rather face impeachment hearings.

He has denied having a physical relationship with his former aide, though in some of the recordings he talked about the pleasure he got from fondling her breasts. Didn't matter to Bentley, now 74, that his colleagues had been calling for his resignation for years after tapes, recorded by Bentley's wife, surfaced in which the Republican governor professed his love for his 45-year-old mistress.

Ivey dropped out of the race that Bentley eventually won, and she was victorious in her bid for lieutenant governor that year.

A former staffer told the Alabama House Judiciary Committee that the governor had insisted to members of his administration: "What happens in the governor's office stays in the governor's office".

"Our citizens are also largely drawn to candidates who are outsiders, fighters, and populists", Azbell said in an email.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, one of the state's most powerful politicians, said Alabama was ready to move forward. If was stayed a year ago.

Bentley can not seek public office again.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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