A historic moment in Alabama politics got underway Monday morning as hearings began to determine if the state's governor should be impeached for allegedly using state resources to cover up an affair.
Gov. Robert Bentley is the first state official in more than a century to face impeachment.
"We now sit ready to hear the evidence that has been gathered and to allow the governor to confront that evidence," said Rep. Mike Jones (R - Dist. 92)
Bentley is accused of abusing his power to try to hide an affair with top aide Rebekah Mason after racy conversations -- purportedly between the two -- were recorded.
"There are some significant questions regarding Gov. Bentley's candor in investigative efforts," said Jack Sharman, Special Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee.
The governor has not specifically admitted it is him on the recordings, and he and Mason have denied having a physical affair.
On Friday, Bentley apologized to constituents, vowing to remain in office.
"I do not plan to resign," Bentley said. "I have done nothing illegal."
But two separate investigations found probable cause Bentley violated ethics and campaign law by using state law enforcement officers and other resources to keep the recordings from going public.
The impeachment hearings are expected to last through the week, and a growing chorus -- including key members of Bentley's own Republican Party -- continue to call on him to voluntarily step down.
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