World

Alabama governor resigns over sex scandal

WASHINGTON: The governor of the conservative southern US state of Alabama resigned yesterday, shortly after lawmakers began impeachment proceedings linked to his affair with a senior aide that was made public in humiliating detail.

Mr Robert Bentley, 74, pleaded guilty in an agreement with prosecutors to two misdemeanour campaign violations and is barred from seeking public office again.

"I have spent the last year in deep and earnest prayer over our state and our people. I pray every morning for wisdom and guidance, and forgiveness for the sins I have committed," the former dermatologist and church deacon told a news conference announcing his resignation, never directly acknowledging his romantic relationship with 45-year-old political adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason.

DIVORCE

The relationship between Mr Bentley and his married aide became a topic of speculation in 2015, when his wife of 50 years, Dianne, abruptly filed for divorce.

The scandal broke last spring when the state's top police officer - fired by Bentley - provided AL.com with salacious details of the secret romance.

The media outlet reported on a 2014 phone conversation between Mr Bentley and a woman he called Rebekah that was secretly captured by his wife.

"If we are going to do what we did the other day, we are going to have to start locking the door," the governor is heard saying.

Last week, an impeachment investigation report said Mr Bentley tried to cover up the affair "in a process characterised by increasing obsession and paranoia". - AFP

united statesSexpolitics