Robert Bentley to be investigated by state ethics commission

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On Tuesday, the Alabama Ethics Commission responded to a complaint filed by State Auditor Jim Zeigler in reference to an alleged affair between Gov. Robert Bentley and staff member Rebekah Mason. Ethics Commission attorney Hugh Evans informed Zeigler that case numbers have been assigned to the complaint and special agents will be assigned to investigate soon.

Evans also instructed Zeigler not to discuss the ongoing investigation “in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation.” However, Zeigler has still been encouraged to pass on any additional evidence he may come across.

The complaint was lodged after sexually explicit audio recordings of Bentley surfaced, though he and Mason both have contended that there was no physical affair between them. Zeigler contends that Bentley may have misused his office if in fact it was used for an affair – in one of the recordings, Bentley mentions having to rearrange his office.

While it is unclear when the ethics commission will complete its investigation, if Bentley is found to have misused his office for salacious encounters he may well be eligible for impeachment on the grounds that such a misuse would constitute an “offense involving moral turpitude while in office.”

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