As Sex Scandal Deepens, Ala. Gov Insists He'll Stay

Aide involved in alleged affair steps down
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 31, 2016 6:56 AM CDT
As Sex Scandal Deepens, Ala. Gov Insists He'll Stay
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley speaks to reporters in Montgomery last week.   (Julie Bennett / via AP)

A top political aide to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned Wednesday—a week after he publicly admitted making inappropriate remarks to her but denied the two ever had an affair. The resignation of senior political adviser Rebekah Mason capped an explosive eight days in state politics that rocked the administration of the conservative Republican governor in a scandal that shows no signs of going away quietly, the AP reports. According to Gawker, the affair has been "all but confirmed," with local blog Yellowhammer releasing fresh audio of a conversation between Bentley and Mason in which he refers to her having seen his underwear. They were secretly recorded in 2014 by Bentley's wife, who filed for divorce the following year after 50 years of marriage, reports.

Bentley—who faces a state ethics probe over the alleged affair—told reporters on Wednesday that he has no plans to resign and will soon release a video statement explaining his side of the story. He also denied reports that he co-owned a safety deposit box with Mason, saying she was merely designated to access it if needed. Many Alabamans believe it is too late to save the 73-year-old Republican's career and some lawmakers are talking about impeaching him. "I really hate that this happened to the governor, but he did it to himself," state Sen. Dick Brewbaker, a Republican, tells the New York Times. "It just shows that any governor who serves two terms and can leave office without scandal has really accomplished something in Alabama." (More Robert Bentley stories.)

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