Embattled Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) acknowledged Thursday that he once had his wallet delivered to him via state helicopter, reportedly after getting into a fight with his then-wife, because he needed money to eat.
AL.com and the local politics blog Yellowhammer News cited anonymous sources who said the retrieval mission was necessary because Bentley forgot the wallet when fleeing his Tuscaloosa home after fighting with the state’s former first lady. Bentley has been wrapped up in scandal since a state employee he fired claimed to have proof that the governor had an affair with his top aide, Rebekah Mason, who has since resigned.
Bentley’s acknowledgment came after AL.com confirmed that a helicopter belonging to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency traveled for four hours on the day after Christmas in 2014, leaving Montgomery for Tuscaloosa before delivering Bentley’s wallet to him in Gulf Shores.
Bentley said the helicopter delivery “looks bad,” but insisted that he never requested that a helicopter be used, according to the news site. He said law enforcement opted for a helicopter because “they just got it to me as quickly as they could.”
“I requested they deliver my wallet, I didn’t know how they were going to do it. I did not request that a helicopter was used,” Bentley said. “You have to have your wallet for security reasons. I’m the governor. And I had to have money. I had to buy something to eat. You have to have identification.”
A group of legislators in the state House have started the motions to impeach Bentley, but the governor has said he won’t step down. The state’s Ethics Commission is investigating the validity of two complaints that question whether Bentley misused state property.