MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The scandal in Montgomery continues making national headlines.
New questions have surfaced involving the purchase of prepaid cell phones listed on campaign finance reports.
The governor is fighting to break free of the scandal and move on with state business. But next week State Rep. Ed Henry says he is planning to bring an impeachment resolution before the House of Representatives.
The scandal could turn into a political circus depending on what happens after that.
State lawmakers say an unlikely- but possible scenario – could involve an impeachment trial for the governor happening in the state senate with Alabama chief justice Roy Moore presiding at the same time that house speaker Mike Hubbard stands trial on charges of using public office for personal gain.
Despite the public embarrassment, Bentley says he is moving forward with state business. “There is nothing illegal. There’s nothing that’s ever been done that would affect people of Alabama and affect my job,” said Bentley to reporters on Thursday.
Jefferson county commissioner David Carrington says he thinks Governor Bentley should resign.
“He’s lost his reputation and his problems even if they be perceptions, it’s trite, and perception’s become reality in the eyes of the beholder. I think it’s time for him to step aside and not have us go through an impeachment trial or an ethics violation. You know the great philosopher Kenny Rogers said you’ve got to know when to hold em’ and know when to fold em’,” said Carrington.
It’s unclear is there is significant support in the state legislature for impeachment proceedings.
State senator Cam Ward tells CBS42 News that even if state lawmakers want to impeach Bentley, they may not have time at in this point in the legislative session. Ward says if lawmakers begin the process, but run out of time, then the governor would be required to call a special session for them to impeach him–which isn’t likely.
CBS42 News requested a statement from the Governor’s Office regarding the published reports that list purchases of prepaid cell phone minutes and inexpensive “burner” phones, but at press time we had not received a response.
CBS42 News has also reached out to the Governor’s Office Thursday requesting information about the existence of a safe deposit box described in published reports as having ties to Bentley and his former political advisor. We asked if the box existed, and if so who had access to the box, what it contained, and why it was needed. At press time we had not gotten a response about that either.
On Wednesday Governor Bentley refused to answer questions about the safe deposit box during a press conference in Franklin County.