Robert Bentley Impeachment Investigation - Special Counsel Submission

Alabama Supreme Court Stays Injunction Against Impeachment Proceedings

View the order here.

View the appellant brief here.

View the final order here.

The Investigation

On April 28, 2016, twenty-three members of the Alabama House of Representatives introduced HR367 which proposed two articles of impeachment against Governor Robert Bentley. Proposed Article I (“Willful Neglect of Duty”) states that Governor Bentley has “willfully neglected his duty as Governor by failing to faithfully execute the laws of this state and by refusing to perform his constitutional and statutory duties.” Proposed Article II (“Corruption in Office”) states that Governor Bentley has “unlawfully misused state property, misappropriated state resources, and consistently acted in violation of law to promote is own personal agenda.”

Pursuant to House Rule 79.1, the proposed articles of impeachment were referred to the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the allegations and to recommend to the full House whether cause exists to impeach the Governor. The Committee was to adopt rules, gather information and submit a report to the full House.

The Committee Rules authorized the retention of a Special Counsel to aid in the Committee’s investigation. After a search process, the Committee retained Jack Sharman with Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC in Birmingham, Alabama, to serve as its Special Counsel.

This page sets out the Special Counsel’s Pre-Hearing Submission, as well as exhibits and other documents relevant to the investigation.

Exhibits

The submission from Special Counsel has exhibits. Links to the exhibits are set out below, grouped by category, and may be downloaded.

Preservation Letters

The Committee asked all potential witnesses to preserve evidence.

Exhibit 1

Document Request Letters

The Committee sought voluntary compliance and sent out document request letters.

Exhibit 2

Subpoenas

After approval by its subpoena subcommittee, the Committee sent out subpoenas.

Exhibit 3

Notices for Sworn Testimony

Through its Special Counsel, the Committee sought sworn testimony from the Governor and his senior staff.

Exhibit 4

Subpoena Responses

Documents provided in response to subpoenas are set out here.

Exhibit 5A - Documents received from Alabama Council of Excellent Government
Exhibit 5B - Documents received from Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
Exhibit 5C - Documents received from Dianne Bentley
Exhibit 5D - Audio file received from Dianne Bentley
Exhibit 5E - Documents received from Spencer Collier
Exhibit 5F - Documents received from Seth Hammett
Exhibit 5G - Documents received from Wendell Ray Lewis
Exhibit 5H - Documents received from Rochester Butler Walker
Exhibit 5I - Documents received from Cheryl Fondon
Exhibit 5J - Spencer Collier Affidavits (signed and unsigned)
Exhibit 5K - Press Release: Governor Bentley Announces Termination of Spencer Collier as Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary
Exhibit 5L - Resignation Letter of Spencer Collier (not signed)
Exhibit 5M - Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Integrity Unit Case Report Case Agent: April Bickhaus
Exhibit 5N - Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Integrity Unit Case Report Case Agent: April Bickhaus
Exhibit 5O - Timeline Re: Spencer Collier
Exhibit 5P - Senator Orr letter, and Stabler-Hardwich emails
Exhibit 5Q - State Aircraft Usage by Governor Bentley, First Lady Dianne Bentley and Governor’s Staff – First Quarter 2015
Exhibit 5R - State Aircraft Usage by Governor Bentley, First Lady Dianne Bentley and Governor’s Staff – Second Quarter 2015
Exhibit 5S - State Aircraft Usage by Governor Bentley, First Lady Dianne Bentley and Governor’s Staff – Third Quarter 2015
Exhibit 5T - State Aircraft Usage by Governor Bentley, First Lady Dianne Bentley and Governor’s Staff – Fourth Quarter 2015
Exhibit 5U - State Aircraft Usage by Governor Bentley, First Lady Dianne Bentley and Governor’s Staff – First Quarter 2016
Exhibit 5V - State Aircraft Usage by Governor Bentley, First Lady Dianne Bentley and Governor’s Staff – Second Quarter 2016
Exhibit 5W - Letter from Hugh R. Evans, III, General Counsel for Alabama Ethics Commission to Gregory P. Butrus of Balch & Bingham re: Alabama Council for Excellent Government
Exhibit 5X - Letter from Gregory P. Butrus of Balch & Bingham to Hugh R. Evans, III, General Counsel for Alabama Ethics Commission re: Alabama Council for Excellent Government
Exhibit 5Y - Memo re: The position of Senior Political Advisor
Exhibit 5Z - Senior Political Advisor Job Description
Exhibit 5AA - Governor’s Calendar (2015)
Exhibit 5BB - Governor’s Calendar (Jan to Aug 2016)
Exhibit 5CC - Emails and text messages produced by the Office of the Governor

Selected Correspondence

This section includes correspondence between and among the Committee, the Governor and their respective lawyers.

Exhibit 6

Motions, Orders and Other Filings

Submissions to and dispositions by the Committee can be found here.

Exhibit 7

House Resolutions and Relevant Rules

The impeachment resolution, House Rule 79.1 and the Amended Judiciary Committee Rules for the Impeachment Investigation of Governor Robert J. Bentley are collected here.

Exhibit 8

House Judiciary Committee

Pursuant to House Rule 79.1, the proposed articles of impeachment were referred to the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the allegations and to recommend to the full House whether cause exists to impeach the Governor.

Mike Jones

Chair

Jim Hill

Vice Chair

Marcel Black

Ranking Minority

Mike Ball

House District 10

Paul Beckman

House District 88

Merika Coleman

House District 57

Dickie Drake

House District 45

Chris England

House District 70

Allen Farley

House District 15

David Faulkner

House District 46

Matt Fridy

House District 73

Juandalynn Givan

House District 60

Mike Holmes

House District 31

Thad McClammy

House District 76

Phillip Pettus

House District 1

House Judiciary Committee Hearing Schedule

The schedule of the Judiciary Committee is subject to change, but here is the current schedule.

Date Event Note
April 7 Report of Investigation Special Counsel's written report of investigation will be provided to the Committee and to Counsel for the Governor by 5:00 p.m. It will be made available to the public.
April 10 Committee Hearing Day One Presentation by the Committee’s Special Counsel and offer of witnesses, if any. [House Rule 79.1 (d); Amended Committee Rule 2(i) and Rule 13(b)]
April 11 Committee Hearing Day Two Presentation by counsel for the Office of the Governor and for the Governor and offer of witnesses, if any. [House Rule 79.1 (d); Amended Committee Rule 2(i)(2)-(3)]
April 12 Committee Hearing Day Three Special Counsel response. [House Rule 79.1 (d); Amended Committee Rule 2(i) and Rule 13(b) ]
April 13 Committee Hearing Day Four or Recess Conclusion (or recess if concluded on April 12)
April 14 Committee Meeting Summation by counsel for the Office of the Governor; by counsel for the Governor; and by Special Counsel. [House Rule 79.1 (d); Amended Committee Rule 2(i)(2)-(3); Amended Committee Rule 2(i) and Rule 13(b)]
Motion(s)
Debate
Vote on motion(s) and charge to Special Counsel as to preparation of Committee Report (including any revised Articles)
April 21 Committee Report To be provided to the Committee and to counsel of the Office of the Governor and counsel for the Governor by 5:00 p.m. [Amended Committee Rule 14]
April 28 Governor Bentley Written Response To be provided to the Committee and to Special Counsel by 5:00 p.m. [Amended Committee Rule 14]
May 1 Committee Meeting Motion(s), debate and vote on proposed Committee Report and Articles (if any).
May 4 Report to the House Transmission of Committee Report and Minority Report (if any) to the Clerk for consideration by the full House. [House Rule 79.1(a)(2), (f)].
May 9 House Consideration of Committee Report [House Rule 79.1 (g)]

The Special Counsel

The House Judiciary Committee chose a group of lawyers from the Birmingham firm of Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC to lead the special counsel investigation.

Special Counsel

Jack Sharman (left) is the Committee's Special Counsel.

Special Counsel Staff

Sharman is supported by Assistant Special Counsel Jeff Doss, Brandon Essig, Wes Gilchrist, Rachel Lary, Amie Vague and Ben Willson, plus Paralegal Jessica Wehby and Presentation Support Sam McAllister.