As we reported then, Sharman's report copiously documented Rebekah Mason's extraordinary influence on the Governor and how Bentley subsequently created an "atmosphere of intimidation" in his office and misused state resources to hide their affair.
Bentley resigned Monday after he was charged with ethics violations in connection with his rumored affair with Rebekah Caldwell Mason and amid an impeachment hearing. Although it lifted the restraining order, the court asked for briefs to be submitted by Monday afternoon.
Ivey is Alabama's second female governor, and the first to climb up the political ladder on her own.
Alabama Lt Governor Kay Ivey, left, is sworn is as Alabama's new governor after Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced his resignation April 10 amid impeachment proceedings on accusations stemming from his relationship with a former aide in Montgomery, Alabama. Tuesday is her first full day in office, and she hasn't wasted any time.
Bentley, 74, was embroiled in controversy ever since recordings surfaced a year ago of him making sexually charged comments to political adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason, 45.
On Friday, Jack Sharman, the special counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, released a lengthy report that asserted Bentley sought to cover up his affair and told others to keep it quiet.
The audio recordings were later given to a local newspaper at which point Bentley apologized for the graphic comments heard on tape but still insisted that the relationship between he and Mason had been strictly professional.
Bentley's wife of 50 years, Dianne Bentley, filed for divorce in 2015, months before the allegations of an affair became public.
Kay Ivey, 72, has been sworn in as Alabama's 54th governor following the resignation Monday of Gov. Robert Bentley. Ivey blamed the program's collapse on market forces and, in 2010, she narrowly won the lieutenant governor election, defeating the incumbent. "We got to know what's been going on so we can make good decisions".
"Today is both a dark day in Alabama but yet also, it's one of opportunity", Ivey said at her swearing-in ceremony at the Alabama State Capitol.
"At times in the past, have I said things that I should not have said?"
"We've had one very important chapter ended, but there remains quite a lot of loose ends to be tied up", said Bill Stewart, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Alabama. Marshall replaces Luther Strange, whom Bentley appointed to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, who is now President Donald Trump's attorney general.
Once arguably the most powerful Republican in the state, House Speaker Mike Hubbard was removed from office in 2016 after being convicted on ethics charges, including claims he solicited business from lobbyists and corporate executives.