Gov. Bentley to people of Alabama: 'Forgive me'

Gov. Bentley to people of Alabama: 'Forgive me'

April 4th, 2016 by Associated Press in Politics State

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley speaks during a news conference at Limestone Correctional Facility in Harvest, Ala., Monday, April 4, 2016. Bentley says he is asking people for their forgiveness after his admission of inappropriate behavior with a former top aide.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

HARVEST, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on Monday said he is "humbly" asking people for their forgiveness after his admission of inappropriate behavior with a former top aide.

The Republican governor, speaking with reporters during a tour of Limestone Correctional facility, briefly addressed the scandal that has engulfed him for more than a week.

"I have truly asked the people of this state, that are the most loving and the best people in the world, I have asked them to forgive me. It's mine. I own it. I did it. I point no fingers at anybody else. I make no excuses for that. I own my problem," Bentley said according to WBRC (http://bit.ly/1TwX3Ef )

"I have humbly opened myself up to the people of this state and I have asked them to forgive me and let me continue to do the things that they elected me for twice, and that's to try to make their lives better."

The 73-year-old governor last month admitted making inappropriate remarks to his former senior policy adviser, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, 44. Mason has since resigned.

The governor has said little about the relationship with Mason.

Dianne Bentley, the governor's ex-wife, filed for divorce in 2015, saying their 50-year marriage had suffered an irreparable breakdown.

Recordings obtained by The Associated Press purportedly show the governor — before his divorce — professing love to someone named Rebecca or Rebekah and telling her how much he enjoyed kissing and touching her.

Bentley said he did not have a "physical affair" and there was no sexual activity, but he apologized to his family and Mason's.

The scandal has engulfed the two-term Republican governor, and former Baptist deacon, whose elections in 2010 and 2014 were won partly on his morally upright persona.

Two complaints were filed to the Alabama Ethics Commission.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler asked the commission to investigate whether any state resources were improperly used to further an improper relationship. Stacy George, a corrections officer who ran against Bentley in the 2014 election, asked the commission to investigate if state security resources were ever misused to provide protection or travel for Mason.

Mason worked in Bentley's administration but was not a state employee. She has said she was paid by the governor's campaign and a nonprofit organization formed to advance Bentley's political agenda.


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