Robert Bentley Resigns, But His Biggest Scandals Shouldn't Remain Unpunished

Alabama A&M, Alabama State and Tuskegee had always been an obstruction to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s budget aspirations for the University of Alabama and Auburn University, but with his resignation as governor to avoid impeachment for misusing public resources to cover up an extramarital affair, they should no longer be a target for any moral or legal bullying from anyone in state politics.
Since news broke of his alleged affair with a political adviser, and his effort to fire staff and state executives with knowledge of the extramarital relationship, HBCU supporters should have been at the forefront of Alabama residents calling for Bentley’s immediate resignation. We weren’t, but fortunately, Bentley’s lawbreaking was so rampant that even state lawmakers and judicial officials couldn’t stomach it or conceal it as an exaggerated claim within a matter of the heart.
Robert Bentley isn’t the first politician to sidestep in the name of love or to be caught doing it, but he is one of the few politicians to have an active agenda in disrupting HBCU leadership and operations. For years, Bentley used his guaranteed seat on the boards of AAMU and ASU, his power of board appointment, and his discretion to use the Office of the State Auditor to chronically seek and exaggerate financial discrepancies at the schools; all to destabilize leadership and public confidence in the black colleges.
And then the auditor turned on Bentley, and the state’s pursuit of the governor and his side jawn became eerily reminiscent of Bentley’s efforts to throw out Alabama State trustees, to have a vice-president at Alabama A&M arrested and arraigned, and to have AAMU President Andrew Hugine at the center of audit findings which pale in comparison to findings at Alabama and Auburn.
The parallels between Bentley’s administration and that of Richard Nixon, which used corrupt social tactics through “the War on Drugs” to disrupt black families and community solvency, were uncanny. And finally, Bentley may get blocked from any prospects of life in public service and benefits of public governance. But the executives, alumni, students and supporters of the state’s public HBCUs will never get back what he cost them, and now is the time that stakeholders should be seeking justice and repayment for his bad acts and motives.
If white people, those now and formerly in power, were able to convince the state of Alabama that its top executive was a lying, stealing crook driven by sex and greed,  it is not a reach to assume that his failings surfaced in professional affairs. There should be a full investigation into his motives and outcomes involving HBCUs, and each of his inquiries into their governance and operations. As taxpayers and concerned citizens, Alabama residents deserve as much say on this potential betrayal of public trust and resources, as they had on the betrayal of the same to protect an affair.
Going down for stealing from the state is not enough. Now is the time for him to face punishment for what he specifically took from black families, institutions and communities as well.

15 thoughts on “Robert Bentley Resigns, But His Biggest Scandals Shouldn't Remain Unpunished

  1. Blacks don’t have much power in Alabama so it’s hard for the public HBCUs especially to truly thrive and be competitive.

    1. I believe that if HBCU alumni and stakeholders would take more active, public stances on issues, things would change in the way of funding and respect for black colleges. But because we stay quiet on issues involving our schools, they don’t get fixed.

      1. I agree. Also, too often Black Americans and alumni do not put time, network, and money towards the promotion and improvement of HBCUs and the community. If there was more of the mentioned items, we would not be in these situations. Also, there is too much of the johnny come lately mentality in addressing issues at HBCUs. More proactive efforts and less reactive talk.

  2. It is apparent in the State of Alabama, the only thing blacks folks are good for is playing sports at the University of Alabama and Auburn. It is obvious there is a double standard for evaluating HBCU’s verse PWI’s, I am of the opinion that our Black student athletes should not attend theses Universities, we must band together in order to send a clear messages that we earn the right to be treated fairly. The governor is treating HBCU’s no different than George Wallace and Bull Connor.

    1. And that is a post for a different day; athletics is a major struggle for HBCUs, and partly because we can’t keep even a small fraction of our homegrown athletes at HBCUs, short of transfers from power conferences.

      1. You are correct, I like your observation on the state of affairs pertaining to the State of Alabama.

  3. Good piece. But its important to note the systematic nature of the relationship between Alabama politics and state HBCUs. These universities have been under fire since the beginning. Many of our AAMU alumni don’t even understand the depth of the situation, and do not realize how deep the seemingly insignificant occurrences truly are.
    This will require a national outcry to get the feds involved.

    1. Totally agree. And it starts with advocacy for schools like A&M, Bama State; public institutions in conservative states where tensions are high and awareness of the issues and challenges are woefully low. These kind of schools could inspire action in other states, similar to how the black student movement on predominantly white campuses spread nationwide.

  4. I agree with all the comment especially gettin the Feds involved. I have commented on numerous occasions that the public state HBCUs in all states need to get together and file a lawsuit on the basis of economic discrimination in higher education.

  5. Donald V. Watkins
    8 hrs ·
    Bentley’s “Sex for Power” Scandal: Where Are We Now?
    By Donald V. Watkins
    ©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on March 27, 2016
    Governor Robert Bentley’s “sex for power” scandal with Rebekah Caldwell
    Mason has rocked this state and made Alabama the laughing stock of the
    nation, once again. In his own words, Alabama’s conservative “Christian”
    governor has revealed himself to be a closet pervert who loves to grope
    Rebekah’s buttocks, feel her breasts, and engage in sexual trysts with
    her behind closed and locked doors. Bentley is apparently addicted to
    Rebekah’s bedroom skills, and she is addicted to the money and power
    that comes from her unelected position as the “de facto” governor of
    Alabama. This power couple has announced that they intend to remain on
    the job.
    Where is Rebekah’s loving husband of nearly 20 years?
    husband Jonathan still works as the head of the governor’s Office of
    Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Bentley supervises Jonathan when
    he is not busy fondling his wife. Bentley uses a lot of tax dollars to
    pay Jonathan for the privilege of enjoying his wife’s body. Rebekah
    seems to enjoy this activity as well. Jonathan’s prestigious job and
    lucrative salary have enabled him to make peace with his wife’s
    “swinging” relationship with Bentley. This quid pro quo arrangement
    between Jonathan, Bentley and Rebekah has reduced Jonathan to nothing
    more than an executive bellhop for Bentley and a front man for Rebekah.
    self-respecting husband would continue working for a perverted governor
    who gropes, fondles, and engages in raunchy FaceTime phone sex,
    sexting, and physical sexual acts with his wife. We have heard of “stand
    by your man”, but this usually refers to an aggrieved wife standing by
    her cheating husband. In Jonathan’s case, he is standing by the
    72-year-old sexual predator who stole his 39-year-old wife’s affection
    and used her body in a sexual way.
    Where are the evangelical Christians who voted Bentley into office, twice?
    Evangelical Christians in Alabama gather every Sunday
    to rail against same-sex marriage, promiscuity, pornography, adultery,
    Islam, and other conduct that does not adhere to the Biblical “word of
    God” and traditional “family values”. Why are they silent on Bentley’s
    sexual escapades with Rebekah, which violate at least three of God’s Ten
    Commandments? Why hasn’t the Christian Coalition of Alabama, or other
    evangelical Christian groups, demanded Bentley’s resignation?
    many of evangelical Christians are simply hypocrites who use the Bible
    as a shield and sword to demean and degrade other human beings. As we
    have seen in Bentley’s case, when one of their high profile married men
    engages in a “lewd and lascivious” relationship with another man’s wife
    and lies about it, this adulterous conduct is acceptable to them.
    Where is Montgomery U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr.?
    L. Beck, Jr., is a law school classmate and close personal friend of
    David Byrne, Bentley’s chief legal advisor. Beck and Byrne practiced law
    in the same law firm for many years, and Byrne’s son was a partner in
    Beck’s law firm. Byrne and Beck hang out together socially. When Beck
    was financially destitute and in poor health, Byrne helped Beck to get
    back on his feet. For all of these reasons, Byrne holds significant sway
    over Beck.
    By September 2013, Bentley,
    who is no friend of HCBUs in Alabama, tested the strength of Byrne’s
    relationship with Beck when he asked Beck’s office to conduct a criminal
    investigation of Alabama State University’s finances based upon a
    “preliminary” forensic audit report written by one of Bentley’s
    handpicked cronies. Bentley made a companion referral of the same matter
    to the Alabama Attorney General’s office.
    Representative John Knight (D-Montgomery) was the primary target of
    Bentley political ire at the time. Knight was the lead plaintiff in the
    long-running Alabama college desegregation case that resulted in the
    delivery of new court-ordered academic programs and $500 million in
    equitable funding for ASU and Alabama A&M University. Even though
    the ASU audit report contained a bold print disclaimer that it could not
    be relied upon by anyone for any purpose, Beck eagerly used the report
    to launch a full-scale criminal investigation into $1.5 billion of ASU
    financial expenditures from 2007-2012. The AG’s office followed suit.
    years and millions of dollars later, Beck’s federal investigation,
    along with the companion state investigation, produced no criminal or
    civil charges of wrongdoing against any present or former ASU official.
    of the matters Beck aggressively probed was a “rumor”, which was
    publicly announced by Bentley, that former ASU board chairman Elton Dean
    secured a contract for a female vendor with whom he was having an
    extra-marital relationship. The vendor was immediately hauled before a
    federal grand jury and browbeaten by federal prosecutors. Despite an
    intense and lengthy investigation, no improper relationship was ever
    established between Dean and the female vendor in question.
    stark contrast to Beck’s aggressive prosecutorial treatment of ASU, his
    office failed to launch a criminal investigation in 2014-15 in
    connection with former Montgomery federal judge Mark Fuller’s (a)
    full-blown marital cheating scandal, (b) confirmed perjury to judicial
    investigators, and (c) established misuse of federal funds and
    government resources to carry on an illicit love affair with his law
    clerk. Fuller, who resigned in 2015 after a judicial investigatory panel
    confirmed that he had sex with his law clerk in his courthouse
    chambers, had a legendary history of engaging in sexual liaisons with
    female courthouse employees on his payroll.
    has also been “missing in action” since we published our “Forbidden
    Love” and “Executive Betrayal” articles last fall detailing Bentley’s
    “sex for power” scandal. Unlike his aggressive investigation of the
    “rumored” love affair between Dean and a female vendor, Beck has been
    running away from a criminal investigation of the confirmed
    Bentley-Mason love affair and misuse of public funds.
    Where is Luther Strange?
    Attorney General Luther Strange is too weak and compromised to
    investigate the Bentley-Mason scandal. Furthermore, Strange has been a
    willingly participant in Bentley’s illegal scheme of targeting his
    personal enemies and political adversaries for criminal investigation
    and prosecution. The scheme works this way: Bentley targets the
    individuals he wants investigated; then he smears these individuals by
    lodging unsubstantiated allegations of financial impropriety against
    them; and then he forwards a request for an investigation on the
    targeted person to the AG’s office (and/or federal law enforcement
    agencies). Once a referral is made to the AG’s office, Bentley funds the
    AG’s “independent” investigation by funneling money from the governor’s
    departmental “Emergency Fund” directly to the AG’s office (or
    indirectly to the AG through a money transfer to the Alabama Office of
    Prosecution Services) to cover the costs of these investigations. This
    referral and funding technique allows Bentley to maintain firm control
    over the investigations and any resulting prosecutions.
    2013, Bentley has directed millions of dollars from his discretionary
    “Emergency Fund” to the AG’s office to fund criminal investigations of
    his critics and political adversaries. Former Alabama Law Enforcement
    Agency head Spencer Collier, who was fired by Bentley on Tuesday
    for refusing to lie for Bentley in House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s public
    corruption case, is the latest victim of Bentley “target, smear and
    investigate” technique.
    Where is the Alabama Republican Party’s leadership?
    state’s Republican Party leadership has failed to condemn Bentley for
    his scandalous sexual misconduct and misuse of public funds and state
    resources to carry on the illicit affair. Likewise, the Party has not
    demanded Bentley’s resignation. Chairwoman Terry Lathan said Friday that Bentley’s public apology Wednesday
    was sufficient to “begin a healing process for all of us”. This anemic
    response was totally expected, especially in light of the Party’s
    failure to condemn Mark Fuller’s misconduct and demand his resignation.
    can only conclude from the Bentley and Fuller scandals that the Alabama
    Republican Party has no minimum standards of decency, conduct in
    office, and/or ethics for its top elected and appointed officials. We
    now know that male Republican officeholders who: (a) beat their wives;
    (b) grope and fondle other men’s wives on their breast, buttocks and
    between their legs; (c) engage in taxpayer-sponsored sexual liaisons
    with young law clerks, courtroom bailiffs, and married political
    consultants; (d) engage in a wide variety of pay-to-play schemes; (e)
    deliberately lie to judicial investigators, law enforcement agencies,
    and the public about their sexual misdeeds and public corruption; (f)
    prostitute their offices for personal gain and pleasures of the flesh;
    (g) illegally target critics and political adversaries for criminal
    investigations, are fit to serve in their public offices as long as they
    apologize for their misdeeds after they are caught and exposed.
    This is where we are now in Alabama.
    LikeShow more reactionsCommentShare
    175Tracee Binion, Paul Barnes and 173 others
    Anthony Bridgeforth Republican ‘Family Values’, The Hypocrisy Continues…
    Like · Reply · 13 · 8 hrs
    Rock Newman Otherwise, Happy Easter to that bunch of incestuous Hillbillies.
    Like · Reply · 14 · 7 hrs
    Kathryn A Bauman Donald with your laser like critical thinking, you put the situation into a neat package, understandable by all.
    Like · Reply · 23 · 7 hrs
    George Upshaw Question, I saw on the internet that Rebekkah Mason is African American. So, that was’t true??
    Like · Reply · 7 hrs
    Amy Wadsworth Register No, she is Caucasian.
    Like · Reply · 6 hrs
    George Upshaw OK, thanks for clearing that up!! Happy Easter to you and your Family!!!
    Like · Reply · 2 · 6 hrs
    Amy Wadsworth Register Same to you and your family!
    Like · Reply · 6 hrs
    Brenda Phillips-Hong Wasn’t there something early on about him fathering a child by an African American woman ?
    Like · Reply · 1 · 3 hrs
    Write a reply…
    Montie Phillips-Gonterman We can only hope that the US Dept of Justice has a presence in Alabama now, independent of George Beck, and that they are tenacious enough and astute enough to find all the cockroaches in the state’s accounting records, expenditure records, travel reco…See More
    Like · Reply · 11 · 6 hrs
    Cliff Clemmons Donald V. Watkins your attack of Christians in Alabama is totally uncalled for. Christians did come together to support a CANDIDATE that was a good Christian man. You have said that the power has corrupted Bentley and that is exactly what happened. If you were to go to a Christian church in Alabama on this Easter morning, you would find the congregations are fully of disappointment, disgust and disgrace towards Bentley.
    You are a very intelligent man. Continue to push for justice but don’t try to turn this into a conservative vs liberal issue.
    Like · Reply · 8 · 6 hrs
    Velesha Mcghee Heard For the Christian/s that’s under review he’s absolutely correct!!
    Like · Reply · 4 · 6 hrs
    Cliff Clemmons But his comment was about Christians as a group…not the few.
    Like · Reply · 6 hrs
    Barbara D Miles Ray Mr. Watkins is dead on point. Bentley has failed us all and should be impeached- if he’s too arrogant to resign. His political platform was based on family values. Well, well, well. He bamboozled us all. He won’t get just a slap on the wrist for this one.
    Like · Reply · 5 · 5 hrs
    Joseph Cole Mr. Clemons, I believe that Mr. Watkins is questioning the Christian leadership, and I believe that you know that as well. The high profile Christian leaders haven’t failed to speak out on different issues, but where are they now? Can you answer that? …See More…
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  6. I thought this will add to the discussion. The author of this below caption has been on point for the last two decades.

  7. Everyone needs to read the article authored by Attorney Donald Watkins..

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