As reported by Fox 10 News, former Gov. Robert Bentley is still reaping the benefits of Alabama tax dollars, using them to help fight a civil suit brought against him last year.
According to a statement given to Fox 10 by Gov. Kay Ivey’s press secretary said,
“All state employees and officials are provided legal representation by the state’s self-insurance fund in lawsuits based on acts committed within the line and scope of their official position. That coverage continues even after the official is separated from service as long as it relates to conduct that occurred during state service.”
Currently, Bentley is being sued for wrongful termination and defamation by former Alabama Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier. Collier was fired by Bentley in 2016 and claims that his termination was because he refused to lie to the Attorney General on Bentley’s behalf.
While the state funds available for Bentley’s defense can only be used for civil suits not criminal cases, Alabama tax payers could still be handed a hefty legal bill. Civil suits can often take years to resolve and depending on the attorney, can cost well over $100,000.
Furthermore, if Bentley decides to settle the suits against him, then a portion of that settlement will also be paid by the funds.
Last April, the former governor was booked in the Montgomery County, Alabama Sheriff’s office, after cutting a deal that allowed him to avoid a heavy sentence. As part of that agreement, he was compelled to immediately resign his office and give up his retirement and security benefits. He was charged with two misdemeanors for ethics violations for which he will have to pay fines and serve over 100 hours of community service.
However, to the chagrin of most Alabamians, Bentley refuses to exit the stage quietly. Just last month he was reported as saying “I’m the best Governor Alabama’s ever had by far.” Now it seems Bentley has added insult to injury by costing Alabama even more precious tax dollars.