MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned Monday after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor campaign finance violations as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. Both charges are minor, but the decision to resign ended the state investigation and an impeachment push against him in the Alabama Legislature.
Here’s a look at what Bentley pleaded guilty to:
FAILURE TO REPORT CAMPAIGN DONATION ON TIME
Bentley in November loaned his campaign $50,000 to pay mounting legal bills in the face of various investigations. He did not report the loan to the secretary of state until he filed his 2016 campaign summary in January. Prosecutors said that was a violation of a state law requiring all donations larger than $20,000 to be reported within two business days.
MISUSE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS
The charge stemmed from Bentley’s use of campaign funds last year to pay nearly $9,000 in legal bills for his then-political adviser Rebekah Mason. State law says public officials can use their campaign funds to pay their own legal bills but does not explicitly say they can pay staff member’s legal bills. The former governor’s lawyers had said the money was for legal representation as the Alabama Ethics Commission considered the appropriateness of gubernatorial staffers, including Mason, being paid by outside sources instead of being on state payroll.
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