The state of Alabama, in the United States of America, absorbed a couple of corruption scandals in the recent years that shattered the image of transparency for its political elite.
The Alabama Ethics Commission carved the way for the dismissal of several high officials in light of their unlawful procedural methods, most famously two former governors.
An image of a family-oriented, genuine and honest politician turned out to be, in the case of Gov.Robert Bentley, a poker face for his electorate base.
The 74-year-old Republican and one-time Baptist deacon, responded to the allegations of the Alabama Ethics Commission; taking responsibility of a campaign finances violations by converting campaign contributions to personal use; and denying a unethical sexual relationship with his top-aid.
The public eye was diverted to the account of this scandal when the AEC filed a report to the state prosecutor, claiming to hold on evidence to Mr. Bentley’s illegitimate actions.
Regret and Mercy
The court hearings witnessed the suspected governor pleading guilty, embarrassed and ashamed of himself and admitted of misdemeanor charges of failing to file a major contribution report and converting campaign contributions to personal to use.
Concerning the sexual allegations, the senior executive strongly denied them, detailing that their relationship had no further dimension then flattery remarks and light physical contact. The repudiation was taken on a vague basis as text-communication between the director and his assistant, read: “I sure miss you. I need you. I want you. You are the only one”.
The mitigation process to the judges saw Mr. Bentley, seeking forgiveness and mercy; displaying the course of events to only contain an accounting misjudgment in his campaign finances and not to have had a sexual relation with his assistant.
The court didn’t accept the account of the convicted as they dismissed him and bared him for public service, requested the handover of all campaign finances and sentenced him to a 100 hours of community work.