By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, April 27, the Alabama House of Representative passed House Resolution 334 to change the House’s impeachment process. The measure was sponsored by State Representative Matt Fridy (R-Montevallo).
Rep. Fridy said in a statement, “When, several weeks ago, a Representative filed Articles of Impeachment against Governor Bentley, it became apparent very quickly that there was not a process in place for dealing with the articles. Over a period of three weeks, with the input of many, I drafted a new House Rule to deal with articles of impeachment, regardless of when and against whom they are filed. Yesterday, after four hours of debate on the floor of the House, the rule was adopted. The House now has House Rule 79.1, which sets in place an orderly process for resolving articles of impeachment filed against constitutional officers.”
State Representative Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) said, “The fix seems to be in for the final rule, change will require more signatures than the original articles of impeachment had.” Henry has been leading the charge to impeach the Governor for moral turpitude and alleged ethical questions regarding his conduct and his ‘inappropriate relationship’ with top aide: Mrs. Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
According to Rep. Tim Wadsworth (R-Arley) the rule change will mean that 21 Representatives are now needed to bring an impeachment resolution.
Rep Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery) threatened to reveal 12 legislators who have had affairs if Articles of Impeachment are brought up. House. Rep. Holmes said, “There ain’t no law against having a girlfriend.”
House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) favors impeaching Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. Rep. Ford said, “Our state is mired in the image of corruption with Gov. Bentley at the center of that image. He has embarrassed us in the national media, damaging our ability to compete for business and jobs. The only way we can move past this negative image and regain the trust of the people, the legislature and the business community is to send a message by removing the governor from office.”
The bipartisan group of legislators led by Henry have been circulating an impeachment resolution against the Governor. Introducing the resolution would force legislators to make a vote on the record. By raising the standard for Bentley and anyone else charged with an impeachable offense to 21 signatures, it makes it highly unlikely that the House is going to actually vote on an impeachment resolution in the three remaining legislative days of the 2016 session.