Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is facing impeachment after news broke that he allegedly had an affair with his former political adviser

By Tierney McAfee
Updated April 15, 2016 02:00 PM
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Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser/AP

Things keep getting worse for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley.

The 73-year-old Republican, who last month was accused of having an affair with his former political adviser Rebekah Mason, raised eyebrows again on Tuesday, when reports surfaced that he had used taxpayer money to have his wallet delivered to him at the beach via a law enforcement helicopter.

The incident took place after Bentley and his then-wife, Dianne, had a heated argument at his home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, over his alleged affair with Mason, according to several anonymous sources who spoke to the Birmingham, Alabama-based political blog Yellowhammer. (Bentley has denied having a “physical affair” with his former adviser.)

The governor reportedly left home to cool off and drove his pickup truck five hours to one of his other homes, in the beach town of Gulf Shores, Alabama. The only problem – he forgot his wallet. Bentley asked the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to retrieve it for him.

The agency responded by picking up the governor’s wallet and flying it to his Gulf Shores home in a helicopter. According to The Washington Post, the round-trip flight would have taken four hours and – based on the type of helicopter and current rates – cost $4,000.

ALEA confirmed to AL.com that the flight took place on Dec. 26, 2014.

“In December 2014, I received notification from Governor Bentley that he traveled to his home in Fort Morgan and inadvertently left his wallet in Tuscaloosa,” acting ALEA Secretary Stan Stabler said in a news release Wednesday. “I contacted my chain of command and ultimately received approval from former Secretary Spencer Collier to utilize ALEA’s aviation unit to pick-up and deliver the wallet to the Governor.”

Bentley has acknowledged asking ALEA to deliver his wallet but said he didn’t specifically request a helicopter.

“It sounds bad, it looks bad, but I did not authorize that and that was not my request and they just got it to me as quickly as they could, and so that’s what happened,” he said, according to AL.com.

“You have to have your wallet for security reasons,” he continued. “I’m the governor. And I had to have money.”

“I had to buy something to eat,” he added.

Bentley is facing impeachment after audio was leaked of the politician telling his former adviser Mason how much he loved touching her body. “When I stand behind you, and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts,” he can be heard saying on the recording. After a pause, he adds, “Hey, I love that too. Putting my hands under you.”

Later he says, “If we’re gonna do what we did the other day, we’re gonna have to start locking the door.”

Bentley denied having a “physical affair” with Mason in a news conference last month. “I am truly sorry, and I accept full responsibility,” he said of the recordings. “Today, I want to apologize to the people of Alabama. It was a period of time in my life that, that I have made inappropriate comments.”

“I love many members of my staff, in fact, all the members of my staff,” he also said, according to The Washington Post. “Do I love some more than others? Absolutely.”