NICOLE NORRIS/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD
Alabama’s second female governor, Kay Ivey, was sworn in as the 54th Governor of the State of Alabama in the Old Senate Chamber in the Alabama State Capitol by Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart on April 10. Ivey’s appointment comes after former Governor Robert Bentley resigned.
Governor Ivey made the following remarks, “Today is both a dark day for Alabama, yet also one of opportunity. I ask for your help and patience as we together steady the Ship of State and improve Alabama’s image. Those are my first priorities as your 54th Governor.
Despite the challenges we face, today’s transition should be viewed as a positive opportunity. It is a demonstration of our successful practice of the rule of law and the principles of democracy.
Serving as your Governor and representing the State of Alabama is no small task. I pledge to each of you that I will do my best. The Ivey administration will be open, transparent, and honest. My commitment is to serve for the Glory of God and the good of man.
I humbly ask for your prayers and your support, especially over the coming days and weeks. Let us use this opportunity to make Alabama even better and your government more effective.
May God continue to bless sweet home Alabama.”
Bentley resigned last Monday, April 10, just hours after being released from jail. Bentley was arrested as part of a plea deal that saw him admit to two misdemeanor campaign and ethics charges. Bentley was given a 30-day suspended jail sentence and a year of probation. The agreement includes provisions that Bentley not seek elected office again, that he repay campaign funds totaling $36,912 within a week and perform 100 hours of community service as a physician.
The downfall of Robert Bentley began in 2016 when recordings surfaced of him making romantic and sexually charged comments in 2014 to aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason before his divorce. It doesn’t stop there; Bentley is also accused of mishandling state funds.
Jack Sharman, special counsel to the state’s House Judiciary Committee, said Bentley “directed law enforcement to advance his personal interests and, in a process characterized by increasing obsession and paranoia, subjected career law enforcement officers to tasks intended to protect his reputation.”
During Bentley’s last news conference as governor he said, “There have been times that I have let you and our people down, and I’m sorry for that. I can no longer allow my family and my dear friends … to be subjected to the consequences that my past actions have brought upon them.”