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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thank you Ed Henry for your work on draining the swamp

Bentley impeachment proceedings outlined; House vote tentatively set for May 9
Vote on whether to impeach Alabama governor may come quicklyv

By Mary Sell Montgomery Bureau, mary.sell@decaturdaily.com. Twitter @DD_MarySell.
Mar 29, 2017 
MONTGOMERY — The attorney for the House committee investigating whether Gov. Robert Bentley should be impeached has released a tentative schedule of hearings that culminate with a possible House impeachment vote May 9.
The House Judiciary Committee will on April 7 receive an investigation report from its counsel, Jack Sharman, according to information released by Sharman on Tuesday.
Starting April 10, four days of hearings before the committee are slated. That committee could recommend to the House that Bentley be impeached.
“The Constitution vests in the House the sole responsibility for impeachment proceedings,” Sharman said in a written statement. “The Committee takes that responsibility seriously and intends to have an orderly, careful proceeding.”
Last summer, the committee hired Sharman to lead an investigation on possible wrongdoing by Bentley. So far, the committee has not received any reports and any information gathered has not been released to the public.
Sharman said he drafted a notice to witnesses who may be called to testify advising them of their rights. The governor’s legal team will be able to offer witnesses.
Ross Garber, an attorney for Bentley on the impeachment matter, sent Sharman a letter this week questioning the procedure and pace of the proposed hearings.
“We continue to have faith that the members of the Judiciary Committee and of the House of Representatives as a whole will follow the law and, more importantly, treat the governor with fairness,” Garber wrote.
Bentley has denied any legal wrongdoing since admitting more than a year ago that he said things of a sexual nature to his former adviser. Bentley, 74, also has denied a physical affair and said there is no reason for him to resign.
According to Sharman’s news release, the proposed timeline was provided as a courtesy to interested parties and is subject to change for a variety of reasons, including potential litigation filed by the Office of the Governor, Bentley personally, or both.
In an emailed statement, Garber said Bentley must be given due process.
“Common sense dictates that an election not be overthrown without fair procedures,” he said. “I have confidence that responsible members of the Judiciary Committee will not allow their proceedings to be hijacked and turned into a kangaroo court."
Committee chairman Rep. Mike Jones, R-Andalusia, did not return a call for comment. Committee member Rep. Phillip Pettus, R-Greenhill, said he received the same schedule that was made public but no additional information.
“I haven’t been told anything,” Pettus said.
It’s been almost a year since Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, first pushed to impeach Bentley, accusing him of corruption and willful neglect of duty. On Tuesday, Henry said he was glad to see the House committee moving forward.
“I get more calls and comments (from constituents) on getting rid of Gov. Bentley than I do on anything else,” Henry said.
He said the public deserves a resolution to the impeachment investigation.
“The fact that we’ve drug this out this long is frustrating and frankly disappointing,” Henry said.
Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, was an earlier signer last year of the articles of impeachment that began this process. On Tuesday, he said Alabamians are waiting for lawmakers to take action.
“I don’t need a hotshot lawyer to point the facts out to me, and any other representative who’s been paying attention knows them,” Morrow said. “The people of Alabama are ready for a vote. I’m ready for a vote. So, let’s get on with it.”
If the House were to vote for impeachment, it’d be the Senate that would hold a trial. Lawmakers are currently in a session that has to end by third week in May.
Meanwhile, a separate investigation by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office is ongoing and the Alabama Ethics Commission is expected next week to announce if it thinks Bentley broke any laws.

mary.sell@decaturdaily.com. Twitter @DD_MarySell.

1 comment:

  1. Good job Ed Henry...now focus on the mess we have in Morgan County.

    ReplyDelete