UPDATE 8:43 p.m. EST:
Kay Ivey, Alabama's previous lieutenant governor, was sworn in at the state's capitol Monday after former Gov. Robert Bentley resigned and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges connected to his alleged affair.
Kay Ivey, left, takes the oath of office as Governor of Alabama as she is sworn in by Acting Chief Justice, Lyn Stuart, Monday, April 10, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
UPDATE 6:11 p.m. EST:
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned Monday and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of violating campaign finance rules, a prosecutor told the Huffington Post.
His resignation letter comes just as Alabama's state House of Representatives began impeachment proceedings. This comes after allegations that Bentley abused his power to cover up an extramarital affair with a top aide.
UPDATE 4:21 p.m. EST:
Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to announce his resignation during a Cabinet meeting Monday afternoon, rather than risk impeachment.
The 74-year-old Republican faces allegations that he abused his power to cover up an extramarital affair with an aide.
The Associated Press contributed to this update.
BREAKING: Alabama governor plans to resign over allegations he covered up affair with aide, says a person who spoke to governor.— The Associated Press (@AP) April 10, 2017
UPDATE 3:55 p.m. EST: Bentley reportedly plans to resign.
UPDATE 11:30 a.m. EST: Our partner at ABC 33/40 has the impeachment proceedings live.
Robert Bentley, the Republican governor of Alabama, will face impeachment proceedings starting Monday in the midst of a lengthy sex scandal.
On Saturday, more than a year after news of Bentley's affair with former top aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason broke, the state supreme court approved the proceedings, The Washington Post reported.
Mason has also been accused of using state money to cover up the affair and threatening to fire or arrest staffers who discussed it.
The story first broke in March 2016, when Bentley fired the head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, who then told AL.com that Bentley had been having an affair. His wife of 50 years had recently divorced him, but Bentley denied doing anything wrong, as he has continued to do since.
Within a day of the story breaking, a recording of a phone call between Bentley and a woman he calls "Rebekah" was published. In the recording, Bentley talks about groping "Rebekah" and talks about the need to "start locking the door."
I do not plan to resign. I have done nothing illegal.
On Wednesday, the Alabama Ethics Commission said it was possible Bentley had broken the law. Impeachment proceedings were blocked on Friday by a lower court, but the Alabama Supreme Court overturned the ruling yesterday.
The state House Judiciary Committee released a 3,000-page report on the affair that found Bentley told police to do "tasks intended to protect his reputation" in bouts of "increasing obsession and paranoia."
The House Judiciary Committee could bring full impeachment to the state House in as soon as a week.