Ex-governor who resigned over criminal charges: I was Alabama’s best ‘by far’

Former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) on Tuesday called himself the "best governor Alabama's ever had by far," three months after he pleaded guilty to criminal charges and resigned.

"I’m the best governor Alabama’s ever had," Bentley told WVTM-TV in an interview. "We got a lot more accomplished in seven years than the last five governors had ever gotten accomplished."

Bentley pleaded guilty to misdemeanor campaign finance charges in April and resigned after reaching an agreement with lawmakers and state law enforcement officials in the wake of an ethics probe looking into his personal relationship with a senior political adviser, Rebekah Mason.

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"We got so much accomplished. Had people just left us alone, Alabama would have been better off," Bentley said. "They took advantage of some personal things and tried to get rid of me. There’s a lot more to this."

Bentley used his position to cover up the affair, threatening staffers, firing the state’s top law enforcement official and using official vehicles to ferry Mason around the state, according to a report by a special counsel working for the Alabama House Judiciary Committee. The report found Bentley also tried to use state law enforcement officials to break off the relationship.

Before resigning, Bentley appeared at the Montgomery County courthouse, where he was booked on two campaign finance violations.