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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rebekah Caldwell Mason hires prominent lawyer, with possible criminal probe looming from Bentley affair

Gov. Robert Bentley and Rebekah Caldwell Mason
The adviser who engaged in an extramarital affair with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, leading to a divorce action from Bentley's wife of 50 years, has hired a prominent Montgomery attorney in anticipation of a possible criminal investigation, sources tell Legal Schnauzer.

Rebekah Caldwell Mason has hired Bobby Segall, of the firm Copeland Franco. Segall perhaps is best known for representing defendants in the Don Siegelman and Alabama bingo prosecutions. Meanwhile Birmingham attorney Donald Watkins reports on his Facebook page that Bentley has hired Montgomery criminal-defense lawyer Joe Espy.

What is the most likely source of criminal exposure for Mason and Bentley? Our sources say it is the Alabama Council for Excellent Government, also known as ACEGOV, a nonprofit organization with ties to three of the most powerful entities in the state--Alabama Power, the University of Alabama System, and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, who have tried to arrange a monopoly on state gaming in exchange for assistance with the state budget crisis.

Where does ACEGOV get its money? The council is not terribly forthcoming with that information, but in a general sense, the funds reportedly come from Bentley's leftover campaign resources. More specifically, our sources say, the money comes mostly from Alabama Power and the Poarch Creeks--and a significant amount of it has been funneled to Governor Bentley's mistress, Rebekah Caldwell Mason.

Cooper Shattuck, a former legal adviser for Bentley, formed ACEGOV in February before moving on to become general counsel for the University of Alabama System. What is Shattuck's role at UA? Here is how the university's Web site describes it:

The General Counsel, R. Cooper Shattuck, staffs, organizes, and manages the Office of Counsel. The General Counsel also serves on the Chancellor’s Senior Staff.

Sounds like a pretty big job. Shattuck oversees a staff of 21 lawyers who serve the three UA campuses--in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Huntsville. Joining him as board members for ACEGOV are R.B. Walker, assistant to the executive vice president at Alabama Power, and Marquita Davis, a former state finance director under Bentley and current executive director of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity.

Shattuck helps complete a powerful trifecta--University of Alabama, Alabama Power, Poarch Creeks--that, our sources say, helped funnel money to Rebekah Caldwell Mason. How much did ACEGOV pay Mason, and what services did she perform? Was she paid mainly to stay quiet about her affair with Governor Bentley?

Could the answers to those questions help lead to criminal charges against Mason, Bentley, and perhaps others? We will address those questions in upcoming posts.


Anonymous said...

Apparently the Guv didn't want to come to a Bham prayer breakfast recently because of "security concerns." What a joke. He didn't want to face questions about his GF.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like their carefully crafted web of deceit and money laundering is finally unraveling . . .

Anonymous said...

I ought to buy shares of 'Bobby Segall' if there were any. Seems he's got no worries of where his next check is coming from.

Anonymous said...

One does wonder why an innocent person would feel the need to 'lawyer up'? Tuscaloosans are aware that this is not the first time that Ms Caldwell has been branded a homewrecker as she and her current husband were both married to others at the time their torrid romance began, according to Tuscaloosa sources.

Anonymous said...

Alabama is a swamp.

Anonymous said...

R.B. Is also a former UAT SGA president.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone expected Bentley to be a good governor. But I think most of us thought he was a decent person who would not be corrupt. Looks like he couldn't even manage that.

Anonymous said...

Ugh! Have any of y'all read Charles Dean's article on AL.com entitled "Separating rumor from fact and remembering don't believe everything you read"? He is definitely on the Mason payroll in some fashion or another. What drivel!