MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A lot of activity in Montgomery Friday regarding the governor's future. His attorneys had sought to block the release of the so-called “Sharman Report." Jack Sharman is the Judiciary Committee's Special Counsel and prepared a 131 page impeachment report, with thousands of pages of interviews, testimony and other materials.
Much of the report seems focused on Gov. Bentley's relationship with his former top political aide, Rebekah Mason. It goes into detail saying the Governor made no attempt to conceal the relationship among his inner circle of colleagues, and that he used state law enforcement personnel to not only further the affair but also to cover it up.
The report says during the first campaign, Robert Bentley recognized the need for someone who had experience dealing with the news media. Rebekah Mason was in his Sunday School class and even though she had told him he had no chance of winning the election, and that she hoped he would not embarrass the City of Tuscaloosa, she interviewed for the job and was hired.
It says the Bentleys brought with them to Montgomery a love for one another and a bond forged by their decades of marriage and shared faith. Staff members remember the Governor gushing about the benefits of marriage and said they would be lucky to marry a woman like Mrs. Bentley.
However the report says as Bentley's re-election campaign progressed throughout 2013, so did his relationship with Rebekah Mason, and the outward signs of affection between the Bentleys began to dissipate. Mrs Bentley had begun to record in her journal the absence of affection from her husband, writing he had not so much as said “I love you" in quite some time. In the Spring of 2014, Bentley mistakenly sent a text message to his wife that said, “I love you, Rebekah."
Quoting from the report, “If Governor Bentley meant to hide his affair from his wife, he did not do it well.”
Aside from the tawdry aspects, the report spends quite a bit of time discussing the history of the Bentley administration, and there's an interesting chapter on the level of proof that should be assigned to the various aspects of the procedures.
It will, of course, be the House of Representatives who will vote on impeachment. If that happens, the Governor is relieved of his duties and the Senate will convene and literally take the Governor to trial.