BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The House Judiciary Committee considering impeachment charges against Alabama Governor Robert Bentley voted to name Birmingham attorney Jack Sharman special counsel to the committee.

In that role Sharman will handle the investigation into impeachment charges of willful neglect of duty and corruption in office.

Sharman specializes in white-collar crime and electronic discovery and he has previously handled other controversial cases including an investigation at Hoover High School according to the head of the special counsel subcommittee, Representative Jim Hill.

After the meeting both Sharman and the governor’s personal attorney Joe Espy addressed the legislative committee’s investigation and weighed in on the elephant in the room – the reported grand jury investigation in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

“I think there are some common components in all this, one of which is that you have three coequal branches of government all of which may have an interest in such matter. Also there are multiple proceedings going on. Sometimes those can be consistent and cooperative and sometimes they can’t,” said Sharman. “A grand jury investigation, civil litigation, Ethics Commission matters and perhaps others.”

Espy said that grand jury secrecy laws make it difficult to comment, but he did address the topic in light of recent coverage by numerous media outlets.

“I did notice some media yesterday that may have slipped a little. I do know, I can say this to you in good faith, but obviously I think I probably have some information. I do not believe that grand jury’s investigating Governor Bentley in the event any of y’all said that. I think it’s dealing with a number of things. I think the appropriate one to get information from would be the Attorney General’s office, but I did want to correct what some media I had indicated was an investigation of Governor Bentley. I do not believe that is correct. I of course was at the courthouse with Governor Bentley and have some information because of my client being there.”

Espy continued, “One of the problems that y’all have, that we have is that all of the proceedings are secret so none of us have a complete understanding of everything, but at this point the governor’s confident. He’s fulfilling the obligations of the office. He’s leaving the legal issues to myself and his legal staff. And he’s trying to move forward with state government and I think he’s doing that. So anyone would be concerned, but I think he’s very confident. He’s moving forward and we’ll just let the process play out, we have pledged our full cooperation.”

None of the involved parties that we were able to speak with could give a solid outline about how long the investigative processes will take.

“I don’t know the answer to that. We’ve asked the same question. We have advised the Ethics Commission that we are prepared to cooperate and prepared to move forward. So we’ve done everything we can do to expedite that process. We have advised and are advising Mr. Sharman that we are prepared to cooperate and move forward. So I hope, I think we will have done today everything we can do. Anything else that’s going on we have no control over and so there are no timetables. That’s one of the problems that we all operate under. There is no timeline that the governor can do anything about,” said Espy.