MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley won a court fight Friday to halt his looming impeachment hearings, but couldn't prevent the release of an investigative report that describes his paranoia and obsession over trying to keep his romance with a staffer from becoming public.
The stunning events capped a wild week in Alabama politics. Lawyers for the governor rushed to court and appeared before two judges to stop the impeachment proceedings, which were set to begin Monday. Shortly before the lawyers argued, Bentley defiantly stood on the steps of the state Capitol and refused growing calls from fellow Republicans that he step down. Earlier this week, Bentley learned he could face criminal prosecution when the Alabama Ethics Commission found probable cause that he broke ethics and campaign law.
Bentley, 74, has been engulfed in scandal since recordings surfaced in 2016 of him making suggestive remarks to a female aide before he and his wife of 50 years got divorced. The mild-mannered dermatologist and former Baptist deacon has acknowledged making personal mistakes but maintained he did nothing illegal or to merit his removal from office.
The legislative impeachment report suggested otherwise, saying he "encouraged an atmosphere of intimidation" to keep his romantic relationship secret.