23 Alabama legislators sign Robert Bentley articles of impeachment

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Twenty-three members of the Alabama House of Representatives have signed a resolution authored by Republican from Hartselle Ed Henry calling for the impeachment of Governor Robert Bentley in light of an alleged affair and the possibility of improper use of taxpayer funds.

The resolution’s signatures slightly exceeded the 21 needed to file the resolution, according to a separate resolution sponsored and passed by Rep. Matt Fridy, Republican of Montevallo Tuesday which established the procedures for impeachment. An impeachment clause exists in the Alabama Constitution, but has never been used on a constitutional officer.

Under the procedure resolution, 63 members of the 105-member house will have to vote to begin the Senate-led trial.

The Resolution has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for further action.

While the majority of the impeachment resolution’s signees are Republicans who have previously called for the Governor’s resignation, it took a few Democrats signing on to meet the new procedure’s requirements.

The following representatives signed the resolution calling for the governor’s impeachment.

  • Ed Henry (Sponsor)
  • Will Ainsworth (Republican of Guntersville)
  • Mike Ball (Republican of Madison)
  • Mack Butler (Republican of Gadsden)
  • Danny Crawford (Republican of Athens)
  • Allen Farley (Republican of Pleasant Grove)
  • Craig Ford (Democrat of Gadsden)
  • Tommy Hanes (Republican of Bryant)
  • Mike Holmes (Republican of Wetumpka)
  • Reed Ingram (Republican of Montgomery)
  • Arnold Mooney (Republican of Birmingham)
  • Barry Moore (Republican of Elba)
  • Johnny Mack Morrow (Democrat of Red Bay)
  • Becky Nordgren (Republican of Gadsden)
  • Jim Patterson (Republican of Meridianville)
  • David Sessions (Republican of Grand Bay)
  • David Standridge (Republican of Oneonta)
  • Patricia Todd (Democrat of Birmingham)
  • Isaac Whorton (Republican of Valley)
  • Ritchie Whorton (Republican of Owens Cross Roads)
  • Margie Wilcox (Republican of Mobile)
  • Jack W. Williams (Republican of Georgetown)
  • Phil Williams (Republican of Harvest)

Below is the entire text of the articles of impeachment.

ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST GOVERNOR BENTLEY.

WHEREAS, in 2010, Governor Bentley was elected the 53rd Governor of the State of Alabama and was reelected to a second term in 2014; and

WHEREAS, Section 173 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 provides that the Governor and other constitutional officers of this state may be impeached upon the adoption of articles of impeachment by this body and upon trial by the Senate, acting as a court of impeachment; and

WHEREAS, two formal complaints have been filed with the Alabama Ethics Commission to determine whether Governor Bentley violated state ethics laws by misusing state property; and

WHEREAS, in recognition of the gravity of the adoption of these articles of impeachment and upon findings that Governor Bentley has violated the public trust, this body concludes Governor Bentley should be impeached for cause; now therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA,

That Governor Bentley is impeached for cause and that the following articles of impeachment, based upon the findings in this resolution, be transmitted to the Senate for trial as provided in Section 173 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901:

ARTICLE I.  Willful Neglect of Duty.  Credible evidence exists to create probable cause to  believe that, in his conduct while Governor of the State of Alabama, he willfully neglected his duty as Governor by failing to faithfully execute the laws of this state and by refusing to perform his constitutional and statutory duties.

ARTICLE II. Corruption in Office. Credible evidence exists to create probable cause to believe that, in his conduct while Governor of the State of Alabama, he unlawfully misused state property, misappropriated state resources, and consistently acted in violation of law to promote his own personal agenda.

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