Political scandals are about as old as politics itself- from ethics impropriety, to financial misconduct, to even the occasional sex scandal. Politicians who get caught up in it usually lose their jobs- or even go to prison.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is another face to add to the growing list of politicians who may be added to this "hall of shame" as the state legislature appears ready to impeach him soon. Bentley has denied wrongdoing and refuses to resign.
Bentley is accused of engaging in an extramarital affair with one of his top aides, Rebekah Mason. Lawmakers are pointing to an ethics commission report that allege that Bentley misused state resources in order to cover up the affair.
His actions are "punishable by a prison sentence of between two and 20 years for each violation. A fine of up to $20,000 could also be levied for each violation." according to CNN.
Here is a list of some of the other top political scandals of recent memory that resulted in a politician's downfall:
1. Eliot Spitzer:
2. Trey Radel:
forced him to resign
3. Michael Grimm:
Michael Grimm was a distinguished Marine, FBI agent, businessman and congressman who represented Staten Island. He ultimately went through a series of scandals including ethics investigations and a bizarre incident where he threatened to throw a reporter over the balcony of the U.S. Capitol. Grimm was ultimately sentenced to eight months in prison for tax evasion in connection to a health food store that he was a part of.
4. Rod Blagojevich:
The former Illinois governor was convicted on charges of corruption in 2008 after his attempts to accept bribes to fill a vacant senate seat in his state. His recent appeal to overturn his conviction failed and he is likely to get out in 2024.
5. Jesse Jackson Jr.:Jackson served 30 months.
6. Mark Sanford:reelected to represent South Carolina's 1st congressional district in 2013.
7. Aaron SchockHe also used campaign funds for personal expenses.
8. Kathleen Kane
The first female elected to be Pennsylvania Attorney General, Kane met her downfall after the Democrat was convicted on charges of perjury and obstruction in relation to her leaking of sealed documents to fulfill vengeance on her predecessor. She was sentenced to 10-23 months in prison last fall.
9. Anthony Weiner:
Perhaps one of the most notorious scandal-plagued politicians in recent memory. The New York congressman was a rising star in the Democratic Party. He was young, connected and married to Huma Abedin, a top Hillary Clinton confidante. The trouble began in 2011 when lewd photos of him appeared on his Twitter account. He quickly deleted them and claimed his account was hacked but it was later uncovered that the photos were of him and that he was sexting them to other women. Weiner promptly resigned.
He attempted a comeback by running for New York City mayor in 2013 but lost the primary when it was revealed that not only had he continued sexting other women, he had been doing it during the congressional investigation that was looking into his actions.
Huma eventually divorced him in 2016 after photos emerged showing that he was still sexting, one photo even featured his young son in it. To make matters worse, FBI investigators found emails connected to Hillary Clinton on his laptop that were not previously disclosed to congressional investigators- something that hampered the Democratic presidential nominee in the final month of the 2016 presidential election.
These politicians's crimes or alleged wrongdoing have all caught up with them in the end. They've ranged from financial (like in Bob McDonnell's case), to affairs (like John Edwards's case), to prostitutes (like in David Vitter's case), to just plain bizarre, like Anthony Weiner's. Whatever happens to Gov. Bentley in the next week, he'll likely be looking at figures such as these as to how to recover afterwards.