Before sixty seconds had come to pass, Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler deemed Governor Robert Bentley a no-show Monday morning saying he failed to answer his summons to respond to questions about his alleged misuse of state resources.
Zeigler made his summons public on April 21 when he announced he’d be waiting Monday morning in his office “at 10 a.m. with a court reporter, and a Bible to swear in the Governor.”
Announcing before the crowd gathered in his office, “So at this time I will call for the witness, Governor Robert J. Bentley. Is there a representative for Governor Robert J. Bentley? We will reach the conclusion that the witness has not appeared in violation, therefore of the order to appear issued April 21,” Zeigler said.
The summons, possible due to a little-known portion of state code allowing the state auditor to require testimony under oath, called for Bentley to produce documents regarding alleged mismanagement of state resources surrounding Bentley’s relationship with his former chief aide, Rebekah Mason.
Bentley’s no-show was not altogether unexpected.
In the initial response to the summons, Bentley had said, “The appropriate legal process is through the Alabama Ethics Commission where the Auditor has already filed a complaint, and we are fully cooperating in every way. I do not intend to respond further to Mr. Zeigler.”
Zeigler now plans to file a court order in the Montgomery County Circuit Court by May 9 to compel Bentley’s testimony.