State Auditor Files Ethics Report on Governor Bentley

The legislature is gone for spring break so it will be April 5th before any official action is taken in Montgomery to censure or even impeach the Governor.

In the meantime, the Ethics Commission should begin an investigation after state auditor Jim Zeigler filed a report this afternoon.

“One reason I filed this report, which can initiate an investigation by the Ethics Commission, is to make it clear this will be an impartial investigation,” said Zeigler.

Zeigler says he was obligated by state law as an agency head to report any untoward activities he was aware of.

Zeigler outlined four claims. One, that Rebekah Mason is being paid by an outside non-governmental source for what is a state job. Second, that Bentley and Mason used state resources to further their relationship. Third, that Mason is basically a lobbyist and hasn’t registered as one. And finally, that Bentley and Mason interfered with an Attorney General investigation.

In fact an overwhelming majority of Alabamians don’t believe the Governor. 84-percent statewide believe he is not telling the truth according to our exclusive News 5 Strategy poll.

He added, “one way or another we need a resolution and today by this filing begins a forward process that can decide the matter yeah or nay.”

Many of Ziegler’s claims come straight from former ALEA Director Spencer Collier who was fired by Governor Bentley on Tuesday. Zeigler says he believes Collier is an honest person but that’s not the case when you asked him If he believes Governor Bentley when he says he did not have a physical relationship with Mason.

Governor Bentley denied a physical relationship with Mason despite a scandalous recorded phone conversation.

The governor spent today behind closed doors in his office where he tweeted this picture of a cabinet meeting. Bentleys office had no comment on our poll and said the Governor has always followed all ethics laws.

His office issued this statement this afternoon: “I have always complied with the ethics laws of the State. In fact, I voluntarily release my tax returns to the public every year in a spirit of openness and transparency. I have always and will continue to cooperate with the Alabama Ethics Commission.”

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