Probable Cause Bentley Violated Law, Panel Finds

There is probable cause that embattled Gov. Robert Bentley violated the law, a state commission found Wednesday.  The Alabama Ethics Commission ruled that Bentley broke ethics and campaign finance laws.  The commission referred the matter to prosecutors.    The commission held four votes, following hours of secret testimony.    Bentley was seen at the RSA Union building in Montgomery, where the hearing took place.   He left without speaking to reporters.  State Auditor Jim Zeigler, who filed the ethics complaints against Bentley, also was present.   Zeigler's complaint alleged Bentley used state resources to facilitate an extramarital relationship with Bentley's former adviser, Rebekah Mason.   He was also accused of paying Mason with funds from a dark money organization.   Bentley has denied any wrongdoing.   The commission's action comes the same week the special counsel for the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to release the results of his impeachment investigation.    Bentley also is being investigated by the state attorney general's office.

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