Disgraced Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, who was facing impeachment for a sex scandal involving a female aide, pleaded guilty to charges of failing to file a report of a major contribution and using campaign contributions for personal purposes. The charges, to which Bentley meekly answered "Yes" when he was asked if he was guilty, were lodged against Bentley because of allegations that he used $9,000 of campaign money to pay the legal fees of his mistress and former aide Rebekah Mason, and from the money in his campaign account to the tune of over $36,000.

Bentley's political and legal fallout

In actuality, although the political fallout to Bentley mainly stems from his affair with a female aide, the legal fallout mainly stems from his misuse of campaign money to pay to cover up the sex scandal. As with many political scandals throughout history, it is not the original scandal that causes criminal charges to be filed against the politician, but the cover-up that results in criminal charges. In the early days of Donald Trump's presidency, NSA Director Michael Flynn was forced to resign because of his failure to be transparent with Vice-president Mike Pence over his dealings with Turkey during the campaign and transition. Had he been honest with Pence, Flynn most likely would have been allowed to remain in office.

Again, it is the cover-up that gets one in the end.

Plea deal

In exchange for not being charged with multiple felonies, Bentley signed a plea deal upon resigning. Under the terms of the agreement, Bentley is to reimburse campaign contributors $36,000 and to pay the State of Alabama over $9,000 of his remaining campaign funds, totaling over $45,000 that Bentley must pay.

Instead of spending over 20 years in prison for each charge, Bentley only will spend a few months in jail; that is if he spends any time at all in prison.

Additionally, Bentley, 74, must never run for office again in the State of Alabama. When Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office, he also was prohibited from ever running for public office in Illinois again.

Finally, Bentley will lose his pension as Governor Of Alabama. Under Alabama state law, a former Governor of Alabama, upon turning age 60, is to receive 68% of his/her gubernatorial salary at the time of his/her retirement. The current gubernatorial salary in Alabama is $119,950, meaning that Bentley would have received $81,500 in pensions for life had he not pleaded guilty and resigned. Had Bentley served two full terms as Governor, he would have received 100% of his $119,950 salary as a pension.

Another Governor in trouble

Meanwhile, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also is facing a criminal investigation in connection with his possible involvement in the contrived "Bridgegate Scandal" in which officials from the Christie Administration artificially created a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge that ended up taking the life of an elderly woman.

Christie, who ran for President in spite of the scandal, has denied any and all involvement in the traffic tie-up; but former Administration officials, some of whom have been given immunity for their testimonies, claim that Christie had prior knowledge of the traffic jam.