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UNCOVERED: Bentley and Mason co-own secret safe deposit box together

A vintage bank vault with safe deposit boxes (Photo: Brook Ward)
A vintage bank vault with safe deposit boxes (Photo: Brook Ward)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and his senior advisor and mistress Rebekah Mason share a secret safe deposit box at a Montgomery bank, Yellowhammer News has exclusively learned.

The names on the box are Robert J. Bentley and Rebekah A. Mason, who alone share access to the box’s contents. The addresses on the box are the Governor’s Mansion in Montgomery, and Mrs. Mason’s private residence in Tuscaloosa. The box was initially opened on Tuesday, January 5th of this year, and remains open as of this week.

Proof of the box’s existence, which has not been known to the public until now, was provided to Yellowhammer by a confidential source, who shared the indisputable evidence on condition of anonymity.

Reasons to open a safe deposit box typically include protecting items from natural disasters at home (fire, flood, etc.); keeping valuables safe; storing important documents; and, perhaps most notably in this instance, storing confidential information in a private and secure location.

Yellowhammer asked the governor’s office if Bentley and Mrs. Mason co-own anything together, “for instance, a bank account, safe deposit box or financial instrument of any kind that bears only their names on it together.”

“The Governor has said everything he plans to say on this issue,” replied the Governor’s spokesperson Jennifer Ardis. “He is moving forward.”

Revelations of the safe deposit box’s existence further reveal the depth of the governor’s relationship with his senior advisor.

Yellowhammer first broke the news of audio recordings exposing their intimate and sometimes explicit conversations last week. Since then, Yellowhammer has released the full audio recordings and transcripts.

Governor Bentley has repeatedly denied having a physical relationship with Mrs. Mason, in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Yellowhammer sources have confirmed that both the Alabama Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney’s office have launched criminal investigations into possible wrongdoing stemming from Governor Bentley’s inappropriate relationship with Mrs. Mason.

Multiple sources close to the investigations say the U.S. Attorney is looking into the possible misuse of state and campaign resources, which former Alabama Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier said he warned Bentley in 2014 could lead to criminal charges. According to Collier, Bentley told him at the time he had not broken any laws, but that he could not end the relationship with Mrs. Mason.

On the state level, sources say the AG’s office, which has endured its own share of allegations of impropriety in recent months, is looking into whether Bentley improperly involved himself in the state’s case against House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Additionally, State Auditor Jim Ziegler filed an ethics report questioning Mrs. Mason’s sources of income. She is not a state employee, but in her role as senior advisor is paid through private entities that are not required to reveal their financial information.

“It is clear that he is misleading the people of the state about the nature of his relationship, but it is also clear that Ms. Mason is required to either be classified as a public official, or file as a lobbyist, in her capacity as an advisor who is paid by an outside source,” Zeigler said.

Zeigler also says the couple “have been using state property and resources in furtherance of their personal relationship.”

Bentley denies any wrongdoing.