- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama lawmakers could vote next week on creating a committee to investigate whether there are grounds to impeach Gov. Robert Bentley, who last month admitted making sexually charged remarks to a top female aide.

Republican Rep. Matt Fridy, who introduced the resolution Wednesday, said lawmakers realized they didn’t know how to proceed after some lawmakers called for Bentley’s impeachment. The state’s last attempted impeachment was in 1915.

“When Rep. (Ed) Henry brought his articles of impeachment, we realized very quickly: What do we do with them?” Friday said. Fridy said his resolution was not “directed at Gov. Bentley. It’s directed at the creation of a process for dealing with articles of an impeachment anytime they are dropped.”

The proposal before lawmakers would trigger an investigatory committee any time 10 or more lawmakers sign articles of impeachment against a state official. Eleven lawmakers in the 105-member House of Representatives signed impeachment articles against Bentley in the wake of the scandal, with some saying he was “unfit to serve.”

The creation of the investigatory committee could be the latest complication for Bentley who for more a month has been in an uncomfortable spotlight and been unsuccessful in attempts to put the scandal behind him.

Bentley last month admitted making inappropriate remarks to his senior political adviser, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, but denied accusations of an affair. Recordings obtained by The Associated Press purportedly show the governor - before his 2015 divorce - professing love to someone and telling her how much he enjoyed kissing her and touching her breasts, and referencing a need to start locking his office door.

Fridy said he wants lawmakers to review the bill over the weekend. He said he will seek a vote Tuesday in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Ed Henry, who filed the articles against Bentley, said he hoped the House would vote Thursday instead of waiting until next week.


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