MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Spencer Collier, the former head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), said Wednesday that he has seen and investigated text messages and audio recordings “of a sexual nature” between Gov. Robert Bentley and his most senior advisor, Rebekah Mason. The state’s former top cop, who is a longtime friend of Bentley’s and referred to him repeatedly as a “father figure,” also said he and other members of state law enforcement were fired for cooperating with an investigation by the attorney general’s office.
Wednesday morning, Yellowhammer gained exclusive access to explicit recordings that confirm the affair allegations.
Roughly an hour later, Collier held a press conference to discuss the growing scandal.
“Unfortunately Governor Robert Bentley… made the decision to terminate four law enforcement employees whose only crime was doing their job,” Collier alleged. “Another four were transferred for this same reason.”
According to Collier, a member of Governor Bentley’s security detail, Stan Stabler, inadvertently saw a sexually explicit text from Mrs. Mason to Governor Bentley and brought it to the attention of his superior. As the information worked its way up the chain of command, Collier was alerted and made the decision to confront the Governor.
“I told Governor Bentley there was no need to try to explain it,” he recalled. “It was very obvious it was sexual in nature. Governor Bentley just hung his head and asked for advice on how to get out of it.”
Collier says he told Governor Bentley it would be a crime if he had used state or campaign resources to facilitate the affair. Governor Bentley then told Collier he would end the relationship with Mrs. Mason, but changed his mind the following morning.
“From 2014 to the present it has come apparent to me that Mrs. Mason wields a level of influence over state government that I have never seen before,” he said. “I have received complaints from law enforcement, other government officials and members of Governor Bentley’s family.
“He made it clear to me that anyone that questioned Rebekah Mason’s influence would be terminated,” Collier emphasized. “Less than a month ago the Governor told me he was still madly in love with Rebekah Mason but that he’s a man of honor and wouldn’t ask her to divorce her husband.”
Collier continued in his job until this week, when he says he found out via social media that he had been fired and replaced by Stan Stabler, the individual who he says saw the initial text.
In response to Collier’s comments, Mr. Stabler said, “The allegation and implication from Mr. Collier is completely false and without merit.”
The Bentley administration says Collier’s firing was the result of an an internal investigation at the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency that uncovered possible misuse of state dollars on Collier’s watch. Collier strongly denies the allegations.
“Elected officials should not be able to wield this much power over criminal investigations,” said Collier. “The influence she is wielding makes her the de facto governor.”
“Governor Robert Bentley is not the same man I knew and considered one of the best friends I ever had… To Dianne Bentley, I apologize (for not coming out sooner),” he concluded.