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AL Supreme Court: Bentley impeachment hearings can proceed Monday

10 April 2017

The Alabama Supreme Court issued a stay Saturday on a Temporary Restraining Order that would have delayed impeachment hearings against Gov. Robert Bentley until May.

The development was the latest in a wild week in Alabama politics as the Republican governor battled the Republican-controlled Alabama Legislature over his possible impeachment. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley walks to the podium before a news conference on Friday, April 7, 2017, outside the Alabama Capitol building in Montgomery, Ala. The 7-0 decision by the high court allows impeachment proceedings to begin in the House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee on Monday even as justices consider new filings in the case.

The temporary restraining order, requested by the Governor's Office, requested ten days to review the impeachment report, which was released by Sharman and the House Judiciary Committee Friday afternoon. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley speaks during a news conference on Friday, April 7, 2017, outside the Alabama Capitol building in Montgomery, Ala. The governor's team also said the committee had to provide Bentley with specific charges and give him the opportunity to confront and cross-examine witnesses. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley speaks during a news conference on Friday, April 7, 2017, outside the Alabama Capitol building in Montgomery, Ala. Bentley has steadfastly refused to resign despite calls from legislative leaders for him to step aside.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Mike Jones said the committee has filed a notice of appeal and is seeking expedited action from the Alabama Supreme Court to overturn the order.

The special counsel in an impeachment probe of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he is moving forward with the release of an investigatory report. Griffin was initially appointed to the bench by Bentley before being elected. He said it was unprecedented for the judicial branch to block a legislative proceeding. "I have not", Bentley said.

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Sharman on publicly released his report to the House Judiciary Committee on Friday.

Special Counsel Jack Sharman said lawmakers planned to appeal.

"Once again, let me say, I do not plan to resign", he told reporters without taking questions. The Alabama Ethics Commission Wednesday found probable cause that the governor had violated ethics and campaign finance laws, and referred charges to the Montgomery County District Attorney for consideration.

Sharman and Alabama Law Institute Director Othni Lathram argued in court Friday that the Constitution delegated powers to pursue impeachment entirely to the Alabama Legislature. The JIC returned saying Shaul's appointment by Bentley in January was an unwaivable, conflict and that his recusal was required.

AL Supreme Court: Bentley impeachment hearings can proceed Monday