Senate subcommittee on impeachment begins work - Montgomery Alabama news.

Senate subcommittee on impeachment begins work

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)

The Alabama Senate’s subcommittee tasked with coming up with rules in the case of a potential impeachment of Gov. Robert Bentley began work Thursday.

Alabama’s constitution is vague on exactly how the process would play out if the House voted to impeach the governor.

Upon impeachment the governor would be immediately suspended from office while the Senate decides what to do. The state’s chief justice, in this case acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart, would preside over the proceedings. However, it would be up to the senators to officially decide whether or not to remove the governor from his post.

Beyond those facts, the state constitution is indefinite. The subcommittee was formed this week to come up with a plan.

“There is an old adage I learned in the military that a failure to plan is a plan to fail,” said Sen. Phil Williams, R- Gadsden, who is leading the subcommittee.

While the subcommittee met for the first time Thursday, documents were given out providing background on the impeachment process in other states, particularly Illinois, to use as a reference when building Alabama’s own process.

“That is going to be a fair process so the end result will reflect justice and not emotion nor prejudice not anything else,” said Sen. Hank Sanders, D- Selma.

However, the challenge is creating a process that is fair and can also hold up to the stress of what would be a politically charged environment.

“It’s huge, I mean, you are talking about taking the executive officer of the state to impeach them. I think that is something that needs to be taken very, very serious,” said Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greene.

These rules the subcommittee comes up with may never be used. The House voting for impeachment is very much in doubt, but Williams wants the state prepared.

“The last thing we need to do is be in a rush to undo the votes of the people. At the same time we need to make sure if it does need to be considered that we have a process in place that is deliberate and cannot be questioned," Williams said.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved. 

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