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Bentley resigns

It’s official – Governor Robert Bentley has resigned.

Bentley this afternoon agreed to a deal that forced him to resign the office of governor, plead guilty to two misdemeanors and agree to never again to hold public office.

The agreement, which was a joint effort this weekend and today by lawyers for the Alabama Attorney General’s office and Bentley attorneys, requires Bentley to repay the state for misused funds and perform community service.

In response, the state attorney general’s office will not pursue other felonies against Bentley, including those referred for prosecution last week by the Alabama Ethics Commission.

Bentley, as part of the deal, was expected to:

  • Resign immediately and leave public life.
  • Plead guilty to two campaign violations: converting campaign contributions for personal gain and failing to report campaign contributions.
  • Serve two years of probation.
  • Perform 100 hours of unpaid community service as a physician.
  • Repay the $8,912 his campaign spent on the legal fees of former aide Rebekah Mason, whose involvement with Bentley led to the charges against him.
  • Forfeit all the money in his campaign account, which is currently a little more than $25,000. The money will go into state coffers.

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey will, as the Alabama Constitution demands, ascend immediately to the governorship. Ivey, a Republican who was elected State Treasurer prior to her election as Lieutenant Governor, will become the first woman governor since Lurleen B. Wallace. She will be sworn in at 6 p.m. tonight.