Alabama governor Robert Bentley resigned Monday after more than a year of controversy. The 74-year-old former Baptist deacon was engulfed in a sex scandal that started when rumors emerged that he was having an extramarital affair with a top aide, 45-year-old Rebekah Caldwell Mason. Things went nuclear when an incriminating recording surfaced, in which Bentley was heard making sexually charged comments to Mason. The recording was made by Bentley’s ex-wife Dianne Bentley, who left her husband a year earlier.

Suddenly, a relationship that was common knowledge to those in Bentley’s inner circle was public, and had all the hallmarks of an episode of Scandal: illicit texts, burner phones, and the kind of embarrassing revelations that made Anthony Weiner look like a boy scout.

Ultimately, it wasn’t the affair that sealed Bentley’s fate, but the abuses of power he allegedly committed to cover the whole thing up. According to a report from a special investigator hired by the state legislature, Bentley “directed law enforcement to advance his personal interests and, in a process characterized by increasing obsession and paranoia, subjected career law enforcement officers to tasks intended to protect his reputation.”

On Monday, Bentley pleased guilty to two misdemeanor campaign violations that were uncovered during the investigation of his affair. Bentley then traveled to the Alabama State Capitol, where he officially stepped down. He was officially booked into jail but posted a $600 bond and will instead do 12 months of unsupervised probation and 100 hours of community service in lieu of a 30-day suspended sentence.

“There’ve been times that I let you and our people down, and I’m sorry for that,” he said. “I love this state from the bottom of my heart, and the people who live here.”

Bentley’s plea was part of a deal he made with the state attorney general, who promised not to pursue felony charges if the governor agreed to resign after pleading guilty to the misdemeanors. One charge was the result of a $50,000 campaign loan that he failed to report, and the other stemmed from him using campaign funds to pay for Mason’s legal bills.

The staunch Republican ran as a family values candidate, which means he opposed gay marriage and used the sanctity of his own 50-year marriage as a selling point. Beyond being a hypocrite, Bentley seemed like a major asshole, too. He allegedly had his bodyguard to breakup with his mistress, and then created “an atmosphere of intimidation” among staffers who were tasked with covering it up. We don’t root for anyone to lose their job but we do root for our public figures to be decent people.

The state got a much-needed fresh start Monday, when Kay Ivey became Alabama’s second woman governor and promised to rebuild what Bentley worked so hard to tarnish.

“The Ivey administration will be open, it will be transparent and it will be honest,” she said.