01:21 - Source: CNN
Alabama Gov. Bentley faces impeachment battle

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Alabama representative gets articles of impeachment signatures

Audio recordings from 2014 purportedly reveal Bentley engaging in sexually explicit conversations

CNN  — 

An Alabama lawmaker said Thursday he has collected enough signatures to initiate the impeachment process against Gov. Robert Bentley.

Audio recordings from 2014 surfaced last month of a sexually explicit conversation reportedly between Bentley and one of his former aides, Rebekah Mason. Only the governor’s voice is heard on the recording.

Rep. Ed Henry, who has said Bentley has betrayed the trust of citizens, said he has 23 legislator signatures on articles of impeachment, two above the minimum – enough to formally begin an impeachment investigation.

“We feel quite certain that the governor neglected his duty, misused his office and misused state resources,” Henry told CNN.

A judiciary committee will be established and meet within the next two to three weeks, Henry said.

An attempt to reach the governor’s office for comment was not immediately successful.

Bentley has showed no signs of backing down. “There are no grounds for impeachment, and I will vigorously defend myself and my administration from this political attack,” he said in a statement earlier this month.

The governor didn’t deny the authenticity of the recording when questioned about it.

Both Bentley and Mason have denied having a physical affair. Bentley and his wife divorced last year.

Bentley has apologized and maintains he did nothing illegal. He has said several times he won’t resign.

Henry has accused the governor of willful neglect of duty and corruption in office.

In Alabama, articles of impeachment must be brought forward by the state House of Representatives, while the state Senate acts as jury. Most states follow a similar procedure, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.