Morrow signs impeachment petition
By this time the news of Gov. Robert Bentley’s reported indiscretions is known far and wide, and the rumblings of impeachment have continued to grow. Now, that impeachment is in motion, with the required 21 signatures collected to bring the articles of impeachment before the Judiciary Committee.
The 21st signature? Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow.
Morrow said he became committed to seeing action against Bentley as details continued to unfold about Bentley’s relationship with adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason, who many have accused of acting as the de facto governor.
“I think the situation we find ourselves in in Montgomery right now is very dysfunctional – it’s almost out of control. I’m very concerned about the future of our state,” Morrow said. “Gov. Bentley might not deserve to be impeached – the investigation of course will reveal that – but I definitely feel Alabama needs an investigation.”
Morrow said if Bentley is found to have committed actions overtly against the law, or if he has neglected his duties as governor, he should be removed from office.
“Alabama needs a full-time governor with his mind on our problems full time,” Morrow said. “We don’t need somebody who’s thinking about what he can do to facilitate an affair.”
Morrow said a number of details have convinced him that Bentley needs to be investigated, from the actions he took against ALEA’s Spencer Collier – who was fired under allegations of misuse of funds but who has gone on record that his firing was actually because he refused to lie for the governor – to reports Morrow heard of Bentley’s complete reliance on Mason’s counsel.
“I talked to people who told me they would go to meetings where Gov. Bentley was attending, and questions would be asked to him, and instead of him answering, she would answer,” Morrow said. “Once I realized the extent to which she had taken over his actions and his decision-making, I realized, ‘There’s some cause here for concern.’
Morrow said he personally has encouraged Bentley to step down from his position and told him, when Bentley came to visit Russellville recently to discuss broadband and rural healthcare, “You’re not going to win this … It’s not something people are going to forget.”
“He came into the legislature as a good person. He is not that person that I knew,” Morrow said.
Morrow said he wanted to sign the 21st spot on the petition to make a point – a statement, that he was the one who pushed it over the line to make the investigation happen.
“I do feel Alabama needs an investigation,” Morrow said. “That’s the bottom line.”
The Constitution is vague on the process for impeachment, and Alabama hasn’t impeached a state officer in more than one hundred years. The ball is now in the Judiciary Committee’s court to determine policies and procedures in moving forward with the investigation.