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AL Rep. Ed Henry joins Yellowhammer Radio to disclose machinery of Bentley investigation

Representative Ed Henry of Alabama House district number 9 comes on Yellowhammer Radio to talk with YH hosts, Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers, about the inner workings Governor Robert Bentley’s impeachment.

The full conversation with Rep. Henry can be heard on the Yellowhammer Radio podcast or in the video above, and a lightly edited transcript of his interview with Yellowhammer’s Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers can be read below.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Podcast on iTunes.


Scott Chambers

Welcome back to Yellowhammer Radio, SuperStation 101, WYDE. 866-551-9933, you can also tweet the program @YHNRadio. Welcome back for hour numero dos, which means hour number two for those of you listening in Concord, Alabama. That’s today’s city spotlight, Concord.

Andrea Tice

Hey, by the way, I heard of a new town in Alabama. It’s down south where they had the damage from the tornado.

Scott Chambers

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrea Tice

Screamer.

Scott Chambers

Screamer.

Andrea Tice

Screamer.

Scott Chambers

Screamer, Alabama.

Andrea Tice

Screamer got a tornado through it. It’s just kind of amazing.

Scott Chambers

That is amazing stuff.

Andrea Tice

Sounds like it’s made for TV storyline there, Screamer.

Scott Chambers

That is amazing stuff, so shout out to those in Screamer and shout out to everyone listening. Hour number two. Appreciate you spending your lunch break with us here on Yellowhammer Radio, coming to you live from the [call 00:00:47] KS.com Heating and Air Studios. Right now, ladies and gentlemen, we are happy to welcome in to the program Representative Ed Henry. Welcome to Yellowhammer Radio sir. How you doing today?

Rep. Ed Henry

Doing well. Thank you all for having me.

Scott Chambers

Well, we appreciate you being on. Is there anything going on in Montgomery today? I have not seen the news. I don’t know what’s going on down there, man.

Rep. Ed Henry

There’s not a lot, you know, just that little impeachment thing.

Scott Chambers

Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. Oh, my gosh. Wow.

Andrea Tice

Representative Henry, before we get in to details. What’s the general mood, just the tone right where you are?

Rep. Ed Henry

It’s actually pretty good, actually. The kind of ebb and flow, up and down, but sentiment inside the body seems to be it’s time to deal with it. We should have dealt with it sooner.

Andrea Tice

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rep. Ed Henry

We didn’t, but it’s time to deal with it now. So, I think there’s a sense of relief almost that the Ethics Commission essentially handed indictments over on the Governor to the District Attorney in Montgomery County and there’s a sense of relief that okay, we can move forward with this process. I personally have never understood why they needed some outside entity. We could see the information in front of us and deem appropriately, but there’s a lot of the members that feel a whole lot better about moving forward with the impeachment now.

Scott Chambers

Yeah, this is a bipartisan thing. I mean, both sides, Democrats and Republicans want justice served on the Governor if he violated these laws and, of course, the Alabama Ethics Commission yesterday said that they believe that he did. Going forward, Representative Henry, what’s next? What happens next for Dr. Bentley?

Rep. Ed Henry

Well, like I said, the indictments were handed over to the Montgomery County District Attorney, which is kind of interesting. Right now, everyone in the process, Governor Bentley has appointed at some level. Even three out of the five Ethics Commissioners were appointed by Governor Bentley. The DA in Montgomery County was appointed by Governor Bentley. The Attorney General was appointed by Governor Bentley and the Ethics Commission chose to send it to the Montgomery County DA and I think that’s fairly telling in and of itself that they didn’t really trust the Attorney General’s office, which has an air of conspiracy around it just by the manner in which Attorney General Strange, at the time, got the appointment for the US Senate while telling everyone there was no investigation in his office. Then, now we found out there has. There’s still an air of corruption and collusion and that kind of thing around the Attorney General’s office. Most everyone I’ve spoken with believes that the DA in Montgomery County will do his job and act accordingly.

Scott Chambers

Our guest is Representative Ed Henry from Alabama House District nine. Representative Henry, that’s a very interesting point you make there, that this was handed over to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office versus the Alabama Attorney General’s office because Governor Bentley did appoint Steve Marshall, who is the current new Attorney General in Alabama, even though Steve Marshall said he would recuse himself from any investigation of Bentley so someone else would have been handling that anyway. I guess that left too much up in the air, who would be handling it. Is that why the Ethics Commission handed it to the Montgomery County District Attorney?

Rep. Ed Henry

I think so because Steve Marshall’s already recused himself. He’s already appointed Ellen Brooks, who was the previous Montgomery County DA to handle the ongoing investigation of Governor Bentley. I think because that process is happening, they wanted some assurance that there would be another entity working on it and so they weren’t putting all their eggs in one proverbial basket. They were spreading it out and making sure that there wasn’t an opportunity for someone to make it all go away.

Andrea Tice

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rep. Ed Henry

I applaud them for that. I’m very pleased by the way the Ethics Commission handled themselves in light of, I’m sure, enormous pressure. The Governor went over there himself personally to testify and it had to be tough. Those people that had asked for his appointment to the Ethics Commission then sitting in judgment of the very man that put them in their position. That had to be tough. They looked at the evidence and they said there’s probable cause here and it needs to move forward.

Scott Chambers

Yeah, Representative Henry, I don’t think that’s a job that anyone wants to have to listen to because, at the end of the day, this isn’t a joyous occasion for anyone, but …

Rep. Ed Henry

No. Absolutely not.

Scott Chambers

… it’s making Alabama look bad. I don’t think that Robert Bentley can effectively govern this state anymore. I don’t think anyone wants to see the downfall of anyone, and if they do, then maybe they need to check their own life. Look in the mirror just a little bit.

Rep. Ed Henry

Well, and that’s exactly right, that’s exactly right. I found myself in that boat to that point. When I started this process, I did it just because I felt like he needed to be held accountable. The more the fight drug on, I started enjoying his misery and I had a real self-awareness around the first of the year and had to check myself. Actually, went to Governor Bentley and asked for his forgiveness for enjoying his misery as much as I had. I apologized to him for that. Not for going down this road or doing anything, but just for how I was handling it and enjoying it. You’re right, if someone is enjoying his misery, they need to do a little self-check on themselves.

Scott Chambers

No, there’s no question. As a talk show host, you can imagine sir, that I might have found some pleasure in this whole story along the way, but yeah, you do. You have to do a little self-check because we’ve all got issues. We’ve all got things in the closet there that we’ve got to think about. It’s not a fun story by any means.

Rep. Ed Henry

It isn’t, it isn’t, and it’s going to continue to get worse.

Scott Chambers

Yeah.

Rep. Ed Henry

I mean, here’s the thing. This is how short sighted he was. He had his iPhone and his iPad connected. Right?

Scott Chambers

Right.

Rep. Ed Henry

The story’s come out and everything he did on his phone popped up on his iPad. The reports I’m hearing of the evidence that’s very likely going to come out tomorrow is extremely personally and extremely embarrassing to him and Miss Mason. Conversations, photographs, all kinds of extremely embarrassing things.

Rep. Ed Henry

And what that is going to do to the state, it just sickens me, to be honest with you. I hate to see how we are going to be ridiculed, not only in this country, but worldwide-

Andrea Tice

I know.

Rep. Ed Henry

It’s disappointing.

Andrea Tice

It is, Representative Henry. I was just talking to Scott off the air. I noticed a headline about this whole situation with the governor. It was making national news on a national website, news website. And it was like, I don’t … Here we go again, Alabama. Whenever that happens it seems, makes the headlines. We don’t hear it so much in other obscure states, like Iowa or North Dakota. Maybe they’re all lily white and acting well, but I don’t suspect that.

Rep. Ed Henry

We’ll probably not. Alabama is the favorite stepchild to beat on-

Andrea Tice

Yes.

Scott Chambers

Amen.

Rep. Ed Henry

In the press, in the-

Scott Chambers

Late night TV.

Rep. Ed Henry

And it’s just … Exactly. We’re easy targets and we keep making it easier-

Scott Chambers

Our guest is Representative Ed Henry from House District Nine, and Representative Henry, I’ve got to ask you this question. My producer just asked me in my ear this and I’m going to go ahead and ask it now. Backing up for just a moment. When you said, “You’ve heard rumors, and these are nothing more than rumors, about some things that will come out tomorrow.” When you said, “Photographs and stuff,” my producer asked, “Is this something maybe similar to an Anthony Weiner-type photograph, something like that?” Do we know?

Rep. Ed Henry

All I know is, I was told, “There are embarrassing pictures that were taken off of that device.”

Scott Chambers

Oh, wow.

Rep. Ed Henry

That’s all I know.

Scott Chambers

Wow.

Andrea Tice

All right, Representative Henry, as far as tomorrow, tomorrow’s going to be another big day.

Rep. Ed Henry

Right.

Andrea Tice

Walk us forward from when the report comes out from the Judiciary Committee, correct? The House Judiciary Committee?

Rep. Ed Henry

That’s correct, it would be the investigator that they brought on board. He will release his report tomorrow. Now, I don’t believe tomorrow will be the most embarrassing part. Monday, when the investigation basically reports directly to the Judiciary, they will get copies of all of the evidence, and from what I understand, that’s where most of the embarrassing stuff’s going to come out.

Andrea Tice

So this would be Jack Charmin, Special Counsel?

Rep. Ed Henry

Correct, correct.

Andrea Tice

Bringing it all to bear to the Committee?

Scott Chambers

How soon before the public is made aware of all of that, after some of that’s released tomorrow?

Rep. Ed Henry

I think you will see it, I think you’ll see it Monday, as soon as it … Once you give it to public officials, there’s someone in that group that will share it. I mean, it’s just a-

Scott Chambers

Yeah.

Rep. Ed Henry

There’s no hope for holding that back.

Scott Chambers

Exactly. Any chances, whatsoever, that Governor Bentley will do what’s right for the people of Alabama and just say, “All right. I’ve caused enough grief. It’s time to resign and do the right thing?”

Rep. Ed Henry

I’ve been praying for him for months now that he would find that place in his life, and actually go a step further, and seek reconciliation with his family.

Andrea Tice

Yeah.

Rep. Ed Henry

Because that’s what’s going to matter in this world, is his relationship with God and his relationship with his family. It’s not going to be that people continue to call him Governor, or anything like that. That’s my prayer for him, is that he will figure out how to make some kind of deal to get out of this, and be able to go home, and reconcile his life with his family, repent, and move on.

Scott Chambers

Yeah, that’s what I hope for. I hope for that, as well. Because, the people of Alabama, we can move on past this. Overall, the State of Alabama, it’s doing okay. We can move forward.

Rep. Ed Henry

Yeah.

Scott Chambers

It’s the relationships with his sons, with his ex-wife, his grandchildren. Those are the relationships he needs to foster right now.

Rep. Ed Henry

Amen.

Scott Chambers

It’s not so much the ones that put him in office.

Rep. Ed Henry

Amen. [crosstalk 00:04:09].

Andrea Tice

Representative Henry, I know from what you’ve said that you’re not taking, at this point, any pleasure in this moment and you’ve worked through that this is not a time to feel self-righteous in any way towards Bentley, because we’re all fallen and we all make these mistakes. I want to commend you on following through in this process. It’s unfortunate that it had to happen, but it’s also necessary that this whole process come to its full fruition in order to stop this corruption from continuing in our highest leadership in the state.

Rep. Ed Henry

Thank you. It has been tough. I’ll tell you. I said on another radio show this morning. They asked me if I were finding any joy. And I found joy in one spot and that is, those group, especially that first group of 10 or 11 men and women that signed the first Articles of Impeachment one year ago yesterday, they were ridiculed, made fun of, and [inaudible 00:05:17] people in the highest of leadership, and it continued even once we got the 23 people that changed the rules. They were continually beat up through every special session that we had. Made fun of, mocked.

I find some joy in these individuals that fought us, blocked us, and made fun of us, that they finally see that we were right. They were wrong. I was in a meeting earlier today, where one of them made a statement that I had made a year ago, and it shocked me. That here this guy, fought us, made fun of us, and now he’s going to try and pretend like he was in this vein the entire time. I find some joy knowing that, yes, these guys who would have let it slide, let it slip under the carpet, are having to deal with it.

Scott Chambers

Yeah, and I think it’s been a one year process. A long one year process. The ethics violations were handed over to the DA yesterday, exactly as you mentioned a moment ago, one year to the day that you filed the Articles of Impeachment. One long year. What has that year been like for you? Because I’m sure that’s taken a toll on you and it hasn’t been easy.

Rep. Ed Henry

I, essentially, destroyed my internal political career inside this body. In order to bring this to fruition, I had to be willing to sacrifice my political standing within the House of Representatives, and I did, and that’s why I’m not running again. I have nothing that I can do any further here, because I have thrown every bit of my political capital inside this body away in order to bring this to fruition. I’m glad it’s happening. I will be glad to be able to ride off into the sunset and know that I made a difference.

Andrea Tice

I really hope, Representative Henry, that people in light of all of this, when the truth comes out, will recognize what a service you actually did in holding the standard of integrity to our leadership, because nothing’s going to change down the road if we don’t hold the line on this, and stop our leaders from abusing their positions of power.

Scott Chambers

Yeah, if anything, I believe that you have changed things for future politicians in this state. I certainly hope they’ve taken note, to know that no longer will Alabama allow all of this nonsense to happen. That if you’re elected, especially to the hightest office in this State, you will be held accountable.

Rep. Ed Henry

Amen and thank you all for bringing the hammer.

Andrea Tice

Hey.

Scott Chambers

You are welcome, sir. I can’t take credit for that. Cannot take credit for that one. That goes out to [Cliff 00:08:15] [Sims 00:08:14] and everything he did while was still a part of Yellowhammer, and of course, he’s moved onto bigger things now.

Andrea Tice

We thank you so much for calling in.

Scott Chambers

Yep.

Rep. Ed Henry

Thanks, guys.

Scott Chambers

Representative Ed Henry, House District Nine, we hope to chat with you again very soon. Thanks for being with us, here on Yellowhammer Radio. We’re coming to you live from the [inaudible 00:08:31].com, [inaudible 00:08:32] Studios, right back after this.