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Report: Bentley violated campaign finance law, will not get to recoup personal loan

Governor Robert Bentley takes questions from reporters. (Photo: Governor’s Office, Jamie Martin)

Robert Bentley is in hot water after waiting more than two months to report a major loan he made to his own campaign to cover legal fees.

A new report has shown that the Alabama governor waited more than two months to report a $50,000 loan he made on November 15. Though law requires him to disclose the amount within two days of its deposit, the records weren’t submitted until last week.

The governor balked at a notice from the Secretary of State’s office, informing him that a contribution of $20,000 or more must be made within a 48-hour period.

“I think a personal loan is different than a contribution, but we went ahead and just filed it anyway,” Bentley told the Times-Daily in an emailed comment.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, the governor is past the point of legally raising funds to pay off his campaign debt, meaning that he would be out the money unless he runs for another office.

There are no penalties for elected officials who fail to file their reports on time.

It’s not the only bad press the governor has received lately. Though some speculated that his favorability may have been increasing as he decides who to appoint in place of Senator Jeff Sessions, an ongoing scandal involving former aide Rebekah Mason continues to haunt his final term.

Last week, Governor Bentley’s office had resisted giving details on who had traveled with him to President Donald Trump’s inauguration. However, while facing questions from reporters, he revealed that Mason and her husband were two of six people that accompanied him.

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