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Scandal-tarnished ex-governor touts record on new website

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is attempting to revive his battered reputation on social media after his administration ended in scandal.

The ex-governor has launched a “Bentley for Alabama” website, promoting his six-year record in office — and reactivated his social media accounts to assist the effort. The website discusses positive achievements such as his promise to not take a state paycheck until the unemployment rate significantly declined.

Bentley told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he started the site as “a historic record of our administration.”

“Bentley for Alabama is a continuation of the hard work that was done by everyone in my administration. The initiatives we started are so important and this is a way for us to keep issues like job creation, Pre-K Expansion and rebuilding prisons in the forefront,” Bentley wrote in an email.

“I love serving the people of Alabama. The greatest honor of my life was serving as governor. I enjoyed public service in the House for eight years and then as governor,” he added.
The site so far does not appear to address Bentley’s resignation last year in a cloud of scandal.

Bentley stepped down while facing both an ethics investigation and calls for his impeachment in the Alabama Legislature. The actions against him were prompted largely by allegations that he had an affair with a top aide.

The governor agreed to step down and plead guilty to misdemeanor campaign-finance violations. His resignation came the same day that lawmakers opened impeachment hearings.

Posts on the Facebook page drew a mix of positive and negative comments. “Go away,” one commenter wrote.
Since leaving public office, Bentley has returned to his dermatology practice in Tuscaloosa.

The website, which depicts a positive portrayal of his time in office while ignoring the negative, has the feel of a fan page or a campaign page. While Bentley’s plea deal said he would not seek office, Bentley did not rule out a return to politics when asked if that was what he was considering.

“If there are new places where I can serve our people, and if God opens those doors, I’ll serve wherever I can,” Bentley wrote.

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