Alabama Governor Refuses To Step Down, Faces Impeachment Hearings
The Alabama Supreme Court is allowing lawmakers to move forward with impeachment hearings against Gov. Robert Bentley, who has been fighting to stay in office after allegations that he inappropriately used his position to cover up an affair with a top aide.
Saturday's ruling reverses a day-old win for Bentley, when a lower court judge blocked impeachment proceedings to give the governor more time to respond to the charges, as NPR's Debbie Elliot reported.
Amid growing calls for his removal, the governor rejected the accusation that he misused state resources, vowing to remain in office.
"I do not plan to resign. I have done nothing illegal," Bentley said on the state Capitol steps on Friday.
Following the high court's decision, the House Judiciary Committee will hold proceedings as soon as Monday, says Alabama Public Radio's Pat Duggins:
"[Gov. Bentley's] lawyers claim they don't have enough time to study a 131-page report by the Alabama Ethics Commission.
"That panel says there's probable cause that the governor violated state campaign finance laws. The commission report paints a picture of Bentley as a paranoid bully who may have misused state vehicles and ordered state law officers to cover up his relationship with top aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason. Bentley says he said inappropriate things to Mason but he never had an affair."
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