The Latest: Governor wants to focus on problems, not scandal


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on the scandal involving Gov. Robert Bentley (all times local):

11:40 p.m.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is trying to focus on his political agenda as pressure mounts around him following his acknowledgment that he made improper remarks to a former female aide.

Bentley toured a state prison Thursday and called overcrowding one of the state’s biggest problems. When asked about suggestions that he should be impeached, Bentley said he didn’t do anything illegal or anything that would affect his job. He said he wants to focus on solving the state’s problems.

The Republican has denied having an affair with his former aide, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, who announced her resignation Wednesday.

At least one of Bentley’s opponents in the legislature has called for impeachment proceedings against him. But that faces an uphill climb, in part because a majority of House members would have to vote to begin proceedings. An ethics investigation has also begun.

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3:20 a.m.

A top political aide to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has resigned after he publicly admitted making inappropriate remarks to her but denied the two ever had an affair.

Rebekah Caldwell Mason announced Wednesday that she would stop serving as Bentley’s senior political adviser.

The resignation capped an explosive eight days in state politics that rocked the administration of the conservative Republican governor.

Former Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier — a day after being fired by Bentley — accused Bentley of having an affair with Mason and of interfering with a law enforcement investigation.

Bentley says he didn’t have a “physical affair” with Mason but apologized for his behavior.

A few Republicans have called for Bentley to resign. A state legislator wants lawmakers to vote on bringing impeachment proceedings.