“The Alabama Constitution of 1901 expressly provides five grounds for impeachment: willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, intemperance in the use of liquor or narcotics, and “any offense involving moral turpitude while in office, or committed under color thereof, or connected therewith.” It provides almost no guidance, however, and much less any mandates, as to how either house of the Legislature must conduct its respective part of the process” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 44, 2017). What is Moral Turpitude: “Moral turpitude is a legal concept that refers to any conduct that is believed to be contrary to the community standards of honesty, justice, or good moral values. While there is no one exact definition of acts that are considered under moral turpitude, they are typically described as any acts of vileness or depravity, or of sexual immorality, whether in a private or social context. One example of moral turpitude is murder. To explore this concept, consider the following moral turpitude definition” (Legal Dictionary – Moral Turpitude)
There are interesting times in Alabama, United States, a grand corruption case and impeachment of the Governor Robert J. Bentley, because of the Trump Administration and their scandal this has been silently going on. Even if it is interesting as the precedence for this trial is misuse of his office and of campaign funds. That the House of Representatives in the State was able in 2016 to put forward the case and file it. Proves that the other representatives in Alabama want the state to be just in front of their citizens, not just a place for the Governor Bentley to eat.
As Gawker itself noted in March 2015: “That the Bentleys are making sure they can the suppress details of their divorce is not a surprise—they had already been doing it for months. According to documents filed by Dianne Bentley, the two have been separated since January—things appear to have been so bad that the First Lady had to be convinced to attend Bentley’s inauguration on January 19—but as AL.com notes, the two have “gone to great lengths to hide [that] fact.” For instance, on July 24, more than seven months after their separation, both Robert and Dianne used their Twitter accounts to wish each other a happy anniversary, with Dianne writing, “God has blessed us w/ 50 years of marriage.” (Sargent, 2015).
That the two term elected Alabama Governor Bentley has misused his position, not only been unjust to his wife with the affair at the Alabama State House, he had also let his unelected adviser Rebekah Mason, who could use her close relationship to control the Governor. Therefore, she was de facto Governor, as she had to be in the room when decisions we’re made. This proves alone, not only the misuse of public funds and use of state budget on her place inside his campaign team and as consultant firm.
“Those in Montgomery who work with the governor said Mason, 43, is an integral part of his team and that her influence has continued to grow” (…) “You can’t get to the governor unless she clears it,” said one legislator, who asked that his name not be used. “Some people resent that.” (…) “Earlier this year, Mason was named one of “The 50 Most Powerful and Influential People in Alabama” by the conservative site Yellowhammer.com, who described her as “part of the very small circle of the governor’s closest advisors.” (…) “From crafting State of the State Addresses to coordinating external efforts to advance the governor’s agenda, Mason is involved in all of it. No one has the governor’s ear more than she does. No one,” the site noted” (Gore, 2015)
The consultant firms that Governor INC hired to work for him. The Alabama House Judiciary Committee’s report, even as the Governor has worked to deliver as little information as possible, there are clearly evidence of the misuse of the Executive power in the State. Not only falling in love with another woman, than the ones who the Governor was married to. Just take a look!
“By insisting that Governor Bentley is entitled to due process under the federal Constitution, he implicitly asserts that he owns the Office of the Governor of the State of Alabama and that his suspension or removal from office is a deprivation of his property. This is wrong” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 14, 2017).
“The very purpose of impeachment – to protect the public from an abusive official – would be undermined if the Executive were shielded from the full reach of the Committee’s investigative authority in this circumstance. Thus, the “alleged misconduct of a chief executive that is sufficient to warrant an impeachment inquiry should not, as the [Governor’s] contention suggests, present a reason for exempting him from accountability; rather it should have the opposite effect.” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 23, 2017).
Governor Bentley withheld documentation:
“Leaving aside for the moment the question of the applicability of that privilege as asserted by a Governor against a co-equal branch of government in an impeachment investigation, Governor Bentley certainly should have produced all non-privileged documents responsive to the Committee’s request. In most circumstances, it is the burden of the subpoenaed party to support specific claims of privilege by describing the nature of the documents withheld” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 30, 2017).
No disclosing his Cell-phones:
“Despite multiple witnesses stating that Governor Bentley has consistently used three cell phones, Governor Bentley provided no documents responsive to the Committee’s request for a list of his cell phones or mobile devices (Item 29). He objected that the request “seeks information outside of the possession, custody or control of the Office of the Governor.”109 The Committee sought, without success, to determine if Governor Bentley was drawing a distinction between an “Office of the Governor” cell or so-called “burner” phone and a “Robert J. Bentley” cell or burner phone. The Committee noted that the document labeled OTG009338 (Ex. 5-CC) is a cover page for a selection of text messages from a phone that is referred to as “Governor state phone.” At a minimum, Governor Bentley’s “state phone” was in the possession, custody or control of the Office of the Governor” (House Committee of Alabama, P. 32, 2017).
Witnesses and Governor refused to testify:
“On October 24, 2016, the Committee, through Special Counsel and pursuant to Amended Committee Rule 6, sent to the Office of the Governor notices for the transcribed testimony under oath of Governor Robert J. Bentley, Zach Lee, Wesley Helton and David Byrne. Despite follow-up requests, the noticed persons have declined to testify” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 34, 2017).
“A number of law enforcement personnel and other staff members we interviewed were suspicious that the confidentiality agreements were designed to conceal the Bentley-Mason relationship. On the other hand, Seth Hammett maintains that the agreements were not intended for that purpose and resulted entirely from his concern that the Office of the Governor did not adequately control who attended meetings, or the flow of information in those meetings. Hammett was concerned that this lack of information control could result in the leak of sensitive information from the Office. He claims the agreements were specifically designed to address that concern. Information security was a consistent theme of the changes Hammett made after he took over as chief of staff, and according to him, such concerns were his primary motivation for the structural changes he implemented in the Office” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 57, 2017).
Rebekah Mason’s employment:
“As noted above, Rebekah Mason joined Governor Bentley’s 2010 campaign and then transitioned into his Administration, first as Communications Director and later as Communications Advisor. Beginning February 2011, she was paid a salary of approximately $98,000 per year, which was reduced after March 2012 to approximately $48,000 per year” (…) “In July 2013, Mason left formal employment with the Office of the Governor to begin work on Governor Bentley’s re-election campaign, although she was at the Capitol in Governor Bentley’s office on a regular basis, having maintained a parking space and keycard access. While working on the campaign, Mason was paid through her company, RCM Communications, Inc., which was incorporated on July 19, 2013. A review of publicly-available campaign finance records reveal that RCM Communications received money from Bentley for Governor, Inc., and was not paid by any other political candidate in Alabama. Bentley for Governor, Inc.’s publicly-available filings reflect that RCM Communications was paid monthly for “Consultants/Polling” and received reimbursement for transportation, lodging, food, and administrative expenses. From July 31, 2013, through November 13, 2014, Bentley for Governor, Inc. paid RCM Communications $426,978.43, which included $184,515.00 for “Consultants/Polling” and $220,346.00 for “Advertising.” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 57-58).
Lewis on the Mason’s connection with the Governor:
“Lewis had never met the dermatologist from Tuscaloosa who was on the verge of becoming Governor that November, but he accepted an offer from the commander of the DPU to serve as Dr. Bentley’s protective detail leader should he be elected Governor. Lewis met Dr. Bentley and his family on Election Day and was immediately impressed. Lewis saw Dr. Bentley as a family man and recalled that “he just expected us to handle things above board, to be responsible in what we did. And, you know . . . he was a religious man. He was a Christian, and he had that reputation already so you knew that you had to toe the line when you were around him.” (Ex. 9-B)” (…) “After Robert Bentley was elected Governor, the relationship between the two men grew close. Lewis recalls: “[T]he governor was like a father figure to me when we first started. We’re very close. We would talk about anything.” (…) “As Governor Bentley’s affair with Mason evolved, Lewis noticed that Governor Bentley “started to change.” Lewis’s relationship with Governor Bentley soured, and Lewis ultimately came to distrust Governor Bentley. He noted: “I knew that if the governor would betray his own family, there’s nothing to stop him from coming at me.” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 62, 2017).
“Nonetheless, on multiple occasions, and with a frequency that increased as the relationship between Governor Bentley and Mason grew, Lewis found himself overruled by Governor Bentley. Lewis recalls one occasion when he instructed Governor Bentley’s Director of Scheduling Linda Adams, while planning for a trip, not to put Mason on the State plane. Later that day, Governor Bentley called Lewis and ordered him to put Mason on the flight. Lewis recalls telling Governor Bentley: “Sir, I disagree with that, but you’re the governor and I will respect your wishes.” Lewis believes this conversation was the beginning of the deterioration of his relationship with Governor Bentley” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 79, 2017).
Using the Wallace elevator:
“Mason also often came into Governor Bentley’s office without the staff’s knowledge. It is believed this occurred because she was allowed to maintain keycard access to the capitol even though she was no longer a State employee. It was also reported that she was able to arrive in Governor Bentley’s office through an unobserved elevator that moved directly between Governor Bentley’s personal office on the first floor of the capitol and the press office in the basement. (Ex. 5-I at 3-4). This elevator was put in by Governor George Wallace after he was shot and is referred to as the “Wallace Elevator.” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 67, 2017).
Control of 2015 budget:
“A stark example of Mason’s control was her role in State budget negotiations in 2015. Spencer Collier told us that in years past, the budget process was initiated by a meeting with State Finance Director Bill Newton and his staff. At the conclusion of that meeting, Collier would meet with Governor Bentley to discuss strategies for addressing any potential cuts. However, in 2015, ALEA was required to meet with Mason and Jennifer Ardis to set budget priorities” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 69, 2017).
The report show’s the connection between Rebekah Mason and Governor Robert Bentley is clear, where the involvement went passed the employee and employer. The details that comes through the report proves the close relationship and the Mrs. Bentley divorce as she understood, because the Governor wasn’t a James Bond. He couldn’t keep himself away from the consultant and the campaign contributor. That even she had to be on the State planes, even as she wasn’t anymore a state employee, the security detail had to accept it. So Lewis said many times it was a bad idea, still the Governor had to have her with him. Just as she had to give him advice on the State Budget. This here proves that an unelected lover can become important.
“The First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa has expelled Republican Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and a female staff from its membership amid a raging controversy over an inappropriate audio recording that suggested the governor had an extramarital affair. Bentley was a deacon in the church” (…)”While church discipline is a church family matter, both Governor Robert Bentley and Mrs. Rebekah Mason are no longer members of First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa. I continue to pray for each of them,” Senior Pastor Gil McKee told Christian News Network on Friday” (Hicap, 2016).
So in last month the Church that both cheaters comes from have expelled them, the place they met before they went to Montgomery to become State Officials. Therefore, the Christian Family man because of love life and is extramarital affair, can not also lose all his credibility, but also expelled from his Christian fellowship. That shows the consequences of the Conservative Republican state that Governor Bentley has run.
Therefore, the State impeachment and the clear report proving the misconduct and misuse of power. As well as his unethical affair that also has implicated his office as the Executive, proves how Bentley got hooked on power and on the newfound love. So the former deacon is clearly not following his own teachings when it comes to an affair on the outside of his marriage, as he did what he could to have the consultant close and also keep the divorce silent too. Since he wanted his image to stay relevant. Certainly, the maladministration and the possible use of State property to usher in the relationship can be seen as “involving moral turpitude while in office” (Alabama Constitution 1901).
So that he misused the Alabama state to have an affair with Rebekah Mason, she was apparently married woman, so them both was having affairs for different reasons. The Governor Bentley is bad enough for selling his Christian Family Values, while being unfaithful and having an affair with a married woman, also misusing his position as Executive to get her on trips and get her hired through straw-companies, as campaign consultant, instead of directly in the State House. That shows the level of extent and that the Governor hired and sacked people to keep it secret as well. Even if he bad at keeping it low-key… Peace.
Legal Dictionary – ‘Moral Turpitude’ link: https://legaldictionary.net/moral-turpitude/
Gore, Leade – ‘Who is Rebekah Caldwell Mason? Gov. Bentley’s advisor paid $426,978 in 2014 election’ (03.09.2015) link: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/09/who_is_rebekah_caldwell_mason.html
Hicap, Jonah – ‘Baptist Church expels Alabama governor, female staff over admitted explicit calls’ (29.03.2016) link: https://www.christiantoday.com/article/baptist.church.expels.alabama.governor.female.staff.over.admitted.explicit.calls/82816.htm
Representatives House of Alabama – ‘ THE IMPEACHMENT INVESTIGATION OF GOVERNOR ROBERT BENTLEY PRE-HEARING SUBMISSION OF SPECIAL COUNSEL’ (07.04.2017)
Sargent, Jordan – ‘Alabama Governor Robert Bentley Won’t Say Whether He Fucked a Staffer’ (09.03.2015) link: http://gawker.com/alabama-governor-robert-bentley-wont-say-whether-he-fuc-1728112971