Cliff Sims of Yellowhammer News speaks on next move for Governor Bentley

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Cliff Sims with Yellowhammer News joined CBS 42 News in the studio on Monday to give the staff an idea of what comes next in the Governor Bentley saga.

Sims stated that with the release of his 24-minute audio clip and transcript over the weekend, that they have put out everything that they have.

“You got to think, if Mrs. Bentley captured this and these two conversations, you got to think she probably did more than that,” Sims told Jackson. “But we don’t have access to those conversations at this time.”

Yellowhammer News put out the recordings following a series of conversations that Sims had with several people involved in the scandal. Sims stated that he was stricken with the attitude of Mason and Bentley throughout the proceedings of recent weeks.

“I think it’d be one thing if he’d come out and been very sincere and contrite, ‘I made a mistake, these are the things I did, let’s push forward’,” Sims said. “That’s not what happened.”

During the interview, Sims shared his view that the newly-released recordings cast doubt on the strength of Bentley’s claims that he never had a ‘physical relationship’ with Mason.

“It really stemmed from the Governor coming out and looking the people of Alabama in the eye and saying, ‘I did not have a physical relationship with Mrs. Mason.’ Yet you hear him in these recordings over and over again referencing past events,” Sims said. “I think it flies in the face of everything he said in his press conference. I don’t know how anyone can possibly believe what he said.”

The investigation has raised questions about the future of Bentley’s office, with many calling for Bentley to resign after being thrust into the national conversation. Sims walked CBS 42 News through his thought process on how Bentley is weighing his options going forward.

“I don’t see any way he resigns at this point, he’s lost everything. He’s lost his family, he’s lost the respect of the people of Alabama. The last thing he has is that office, I don’t see any way he gives that up.,” Sims said. “We don’t have a recall provision, there’s only 19 states in the country that do and we don’t. The third would be impeachment, and that would take a simple majority vote of the house. It’s just really hard to imagine that happening as the Speaker of the House is under a 23-count indictment, one of those accusations is that he improperly lobbied the Governor’s office. So the Governor may have to sit on the stand and testify in that case, is he going to impeach the man that may have to testify in his case?”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.