Gov. Bentley promises not to resign in first public appearance since apology

CENTREVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — The Governor is standing firm on his position to stay in power despite the recent release of some controversial recordings.

A member of the State Executive Committee of the Alabama Republican Party sent CBS 42 News a copy of a letter dated March 28. The letter called on the chair of the state GOP to demand the Governor’s resignation.  Governor Bentley has stated he has no such plans.

In the letter- Terry Dunn writes that the scandal has made national attention, and brought additional embarrassment on the state. Dunn writes that he believes the people of the state expect the Republican Party to call for Bentley’s resignation.

Republican State Representative Jim Carns of Mountain Brook says that he is very troubled by the allegations. Carns says it appears this scandal will not blow over- and only seems to be getting worse.

Carns also weighed in on whether or not he thought Governor Bentley should resign.

“That’s going to be something that he’s going to have to decide that. I think the force of the people will help decide that. There seems to be quite a force right now with the opinion that he needs to step down,” said Carns. “If there are any indictments I certainly will say absolutely. I think you cannot be effective and cannot serve effectively if you are indicted.”

Related – Timeline of events in Governor Bentley Scandal

CBS 42 reached out to State Republican Party Chair Terry Lathan for her response to the letter, but at press time we had not heard back.

A previous statement from Lathan included the following:

“Governor Bentley’s apology to our state was the minimum action needed to begin a healing process for us all. It is up to him now to earn back our trust, not in words but in actions. While we do not know if this storyline is finished, we do know that Alabama deserves the best from all who volunteer in public service, take an oath of office and ask for our support. Nothing less will be acceptable.”

CBS 42 News reached out to Rebekah Mason on Monday afternoon by phone, but could not reach her for comment.

Republican state representative Danny Garret tells CBS 42 News that he doesn’t think Governor Bentley can be an effective leader because of the controversy, and that he thinks Bentley should resign.

Monday morning, Governor Robert Bentley made his first public appearance since the release of sexually explicit recordings.

Governor Bentley didn’t answer all of our questions about the scandal, but he did answer the one about whether or not he planned to resign.

“No. No. I plan to serve the people of Alabama just like I promised I would do,” said Bentley.

Bentley was in Centreville to discuss rural health care issues, as he’s been trying to convince the legislature to approve an additional $85 million for Medicaid funding.  The scandal appears to be taking center stage.

Dr. John Waits of Cahaba Medical Care hopes that the funding issue which is critical to his patients –won’t be overshadowed by the scandal.

“I’m always nervous if anything distracts us from taking care of the poor and underserved that we’ve devoted our life to,” said Waits.

“I would like to think that everyone in Montgomery is mature enough to do the right thing and move past it and see the need that our patients have, that our communities have, that we have for jobs and not let these things distract us from the laws that need to get passed and the budget that needs to get passed,” Waits said.

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