An Alabama state court on Friday rejected Governor Robert Bentley's request to block a legislative committee from releasing evidence about wrongdoing stemming from his relationship with a former aide to be used for impeachment proceedings.
Impeachment hearings for Alabama Gov.
The House Judiciary Committee was scheduled to being impeachment hearings Monday. Bentley vowed again he won't resign even as his political troubles mounted and lawmakers said they would move forward with impeachment hearings because of a sex scandal.
House Judiciary Committee special counsel Jack Sharman wrote that Bentley's relationship with Rebekah Caldwell Mason was well-known within his inner circle. Griffin said he wasn't going to do that and immediately issued his order. "It's disappointing to hear the Committee will plow forward while the Supreme Court is considering the case", he said in a statement. Even in the Legislature. He said it appears to be an "amalgam of hearsay, rumor and innuendo". "I continue to have confidence that there will ultimately be fairness and due process in this matter".
In its ruling, the Supreme Court stayed a temporary restraining order issued by a circuit court judge on Friday that had halted the impeachment process until hearings could be held on Bentley's claim that lawmakers did not give enough time to present an adequate defense. A House spokesperson said it would be out by 5 p.m., and it was released around 3:30 p.m.
Her husband, Jon Mason, was appointed by Bentley as executive director of the Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Justice Glenn Murdock recused himself from the decision.
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Their identities are believed to the the gym's general manager Jeanine Ackerman and a personal trainer named Mario. One person said she was waiting to see if she would be allowed back inside to retrieve her belongings.
Sharman and Alabama Law Institute Director Othni Lathram argued in court Friday that the Constitution delegated powers to pursue impeachment entirely to the Alabama Legislature. But Montgomery County Circuit Judge Roman Shaul said his inclination "at this point would not be to restrain this report".
He instead sought advisement from the Judicial Inquiry Commission on potential conflicts of interest.
Bentley attorney Ross Garber said the rule of law applies, "even in impeachments".
Attorneys on both sides in the case are ordered to file briefs no later than 1:00pm Monday.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley speaks during a news conference on Friday, April 7, 2017, outside the Alabama Capitol building in Montgomery, Ala.
The governor Friday apologized for his actions, but criticized those who he said had "taken pleasure in humiliating and shaming me and shaming my family, shaming my friends". But he maintained he did nothing illegal and had no intentions of resigning.