Alabama Supreme Court allows impeachment of governor to proceed

 The Alabama Supreme Court ruled on Saturday that impeachment proceedings against Governor Robert Bentley can start next week, halting a court order that had blocked hearings stemming from his relationship with a former aide.

Bentley, a 74-year-old Republican, has battled impeachment efforts over the last year and has defied calls from political leaders that he stand down.

The 7-0 decision by the high court allows impeachment proceedings to begin in the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee on Monday even as justices consider new filings in the case.

Bentley, who is in his second term, is accused of inappropriate use of state resources. His troubles began last year when recordings surfaced of him making suggestive remarks to a former adviser, Rebekah Mason, before his wife of 50 years filed for divorce in August 2015.

Bentley has denied having a physical affair with Mason, who is married. She resigned as questions about the pair’s relationship began to dominate Alabama politics.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court stayed a temporary restraining order issued by a circuit court judge on Friday. The order had halted the impeachment process until hearings could be held on Bentley’s claim that lawmakers did not give enough time to present an adequate defense.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-alabama-governor-idUSKBN17A0UI

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