By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) addressed the Young Republicans about a number of topics including resignation of Gov. Bentley.
Speaker McCutcheon said, “Last week was a very stressful week, but at the end of the day I hope the state understands that the House did that the right way.”
Speaker McCutcheon said that when the Articles of Impeachment were first introduced they were assigned to the Rules Committee, which McCutcheon was Chairman of at the time.
Speaker McCutcheon said, “Rules was not set up to investigate. I realized that as Rules Chairman we were not in position to handle anything like this.” I went to the Speaker (then Mike Hubbard) and said that we need to establish a process for handling this. We pulled together a group of lawyers and legal advisors and decided to write the rules for the impeachment in the House.
McCutcheon said, “Any impeachment will go to the Judiciary committee. We had lawyers on that committee. We had retired judges on that committee.” We also increased the number of signatures needed on the resolutions. These changes apply to the Governor Bentley impeachment or any other taken up by the Legislature.
Speaker McCutcheon said that over the summer members began calling me with concerns. What are the facts? What is the process? We started vetting the entire process. House Judiciary Chairman Mike Jones (R-Andalusia) did a wonderful job. The whole Judiciary Committee did a good job.
Speaker McCutcheon said that constituents were telling representatives: ‘We are mad and we want something done,’ however we had to have information and facts. When I became Speaker the members wanted something done; but the process needed to be fair. We had to have facts. I am not going to ask the members to vote based on a newspaper article. “I stood firm even though I got beat up some in the news media.”
McCutcheon said, “The Alabama Ethics Commission made their ruling to refer the investigation to the Attorney General’s office. We had a report ready to be released. Gov. Bentley resigned last week. I Hope that the people of Alabama and especially the Republican Party would be proud of how we handled this.
On Monday, April 10, 2017 Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) resigned after the House Judiciary Committee began its formal hearings on impeachment. Gov. Bentley accepted a plea deal where he accepting guilt on two misdemeanors and gave up his office in exchange for an agreement from the Alabama Attorney General’s office not to prosecute further.
Lt. Governor Kay Ivey (R) was sworn in as Governor following Bentley’s resignation.
Rep. Mac McCutcheon was elected Speaker of the House after former Speaker Mike Hubbard (R from Auburn) was found guilty on 12 counts of felony ethics violations.
The Young Republican Federation of Alabama is composed of member affiliates from across the state of Alabama and is chaired by Jackie Curtiss.