MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) – Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he has decided it’s time for him to step down, professing his love for the state and telling the people that he has sometimes let them down.
In a Monday evening speech, the governor said he’d not always made the right choices.
“Though I sometimes failed, I’ve always tried to live up to the high expectations the people placed on the (person) who holds this esteemed office,” he said at the Capitol.
The stunning resignation came after Bentley pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor violations of campaign finance law.
Bentley said he had prayed about it and talked it over with his successor, Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, and they were committed to a smooth transfer of power.
Ivey’s office announced that she will be sworn-in this as governor at 6:00 p.m.
Earlier Alabama Bentley was booked on two misdemeanor charges that arose from the investigation of an alleged affair with a top aide.
A booking log at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office website shows Bentley was processed on two campaign and ethics charges Monday afternoon.
A mugshot released by the jail shows Bentley smiling slightly, his head cocked slightly to the right. He’s wearing a coat and tie.
A person who has spoken to Governor Bentley says he plans to resign over allegations he covered up an affair with an aide.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.
Bentley is preparing to announce his resignation Monday during a Cabinet meeting. The person says Bentley is in good spirits over the decision to step down.
Word of Bentley’s decision comes on the first day of impeachment hearings. He is accused of abusing his state powers to try to hide his romance.
The Republican governor has acknowledged making personal mistakes but has denied doing anything illegal or anything that would merit removal from office.
Alabama’s Ethics Commission last week found probable cause that Bentley violated state ethics laws with his handling of an alleged affair and referred the case to prosecutors.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)