|Gov. Robert Bentley and Rebekah Caldwell Mason|
Britt already has reported that Bentley improperly accessed federal and state criminal databases to seek damaging evidence about two citizen journalists--attorney Donald Watkins and me--who first brought the governor's extramarital affair with former senior advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason to public attention. Britt's article yesterday states that Bentley used his status as a physician to access a prescription-drug database.
If that proves to be the case, it might not be the first time Bentley, or someone associated with him, tampered with medical records.
My first experience with odd events related to my medical history came last September 29 and 30 when my brother, Paul Shuler (almost certainly with the help of my lawyer brother, David Shuler), filed a petition seeking to have my wife, Carol, and me declared "incapacitated and disabled," essentially trying to make us wards of the state. This came just three weeks after we had been unlawfully evicted from an apartment in Springfield, Missouri (my hometown), a process that included sheriff's deputies brandishing at least one assault rifle and multiple handguns in our direction--with one deputy assaulting Carol and shattering her left arm.
During the course of the "INP and DIS" case, which was nutty from the outset, my brother's attorney ordered copies of our medical records. Carol had never been served, so she was not an official party to the case--and I remain baffled that her medical records could be produced. (Can we say "invasion of privacy"?) I had been served, so I was a party to the case, but I'm still not sure it was proper to have my medical records produced when the other side had not come close to even making a "prima facie" showing that they had a case. For example, they could have deposed my health-care provider, who told me he would have testified that he had seen no signs we could not take care of our personal or financial affairs.
We still have never seen the records, but Dan Menzie, our court-appointed lawyer, said mine included a notation about "delusional disorder." The nurse practitioner I've been seeing for more than a year had never said a word to me about delusional disorder. When I asked if he actually had diagnosed me with a serious disorder, without telling me, he hummed and hawed and said it was just a notation he had made in the file. He also admitted that he would have to follow me around for an extended period of time to know if events I had spoken about were real or not, and he had not done that, so he had no grounds for making such a diagnosis. Given that, I said there was no reason to believe the notation was accurate, and that it was unfair (and potentially damaging) for me to have such information in my medical records. The nurse practitioner agreed and recently told me it had been removed.
Did Dr. Robert Bentley, someone associated with him, or someone else from Alabama play a role in getting false information placed into my medical records? What better way to discredit a journalist--the one who broke the story of the extramarital affair that threatens to bring down your administration--than to have him declared "delusional"--with zero facts to back that up?
It remains unclear what, if any, role Bentley played in the placement of curious notations in my medical records. But my brother recently asked the Missouri court to dismiss his "INP and DIS" case, and it's worth considering the following timeline:
March 23, 2016--Audio surfaces that confirms the Bentley/Mason affair, which I broke last August here at Legal Schnauzer, just nine days before our eviction;
March 28, 2016--Reports surface that Bentley pressured law enforcement to use criminal databases in order to gather dirt on me and fellow citizen journalist (and lawyer) Donald Watkins;
March 28, 2016--Paul Shuler's attorney files a motion to dismiss the incapacitation case.
What does this tell you? It tells me that once audio surfaced confirming the Bentley/Mason affair, my brothers lost interest in the incapacitation case. Perhaps they said, in unison, "Damn, Roger was right all along."
News flash to siblings: Roger has been right about a lot of things all along.
As for signs that Bentley is messing with Spencer Collier's medical records, this is from Bill Britt's article:
Former members of Gov. Robert Bentley’s administration say the Governor is obsessed with his authority as Chief Magistrate. Bentley has been accused of ordering law enforcement agents to target critics, especially those who have exposed his relationship with former senior adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason. And now, it is believed, that there is at least one instance of a former associate’s medical records being violated, in order to launch a whisper campaign against that individual.
There is suspicion that Bentley, who still holds an active medical license, may have accessed or ordered others to search the State’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database to find information that could be used against Spencer Collier, former head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA).
Several former associates close to Bentley are fearful that he is accessing their most private information, in an effort to destroy their lives and reputations as well.
Bentley has shown signs of having the kind of paranoia that drove Richard Nixon from the White House. Writes Britt:
In late March, this publication found that according to high-ranking officers and staff, Bentley pressured law enforcement officers to use federal and state resources to target those critical of his relationship with Mason.
In an effort to find potentially damaging information on those who spoke out against the couple, Bentley instructed top law enforcement agents to investigate private citizens, in direct conflict with the law, said those close to the matter.
(All of these individuals spoke on background to alreporter.com, because of a criminal investigation surrounding this and other matters.)
Two individuals with detailed knowledge of the incidents say Bentley ordered the use of the National Crime Information Center, (NCIC) and the Law Enforcement Tactical System (LETS) to find any incriminating evidence that might be used against attorney Donald V. Watkins and Legal Schnauzer blogger, Roger Shuler.
Is the same being done with the controlled substance database?
If the answer proves to be yes, Bentley might have stepped in some serious "doo doo""
According to Alabama code Section 20-2-214-3: “A licensed physician approved by the department who has authority to prescribe, dispense, or administer controlled substances may designate up to two employees who may access the [PDMP] database on the physician’s behalf.”
When asked if he thought Bentley or his surrogates had accessed his medical records, Collier declined to give a direct answer saying only, “It is a matter best left to law enforcement.”
Speaking on background, a Birmingham physician said any doctor could easily enter the database to determine what controlled substance medications an individual had been prescribed, but without the person’s consent, it would be a crime.
Under Section 20-2-216: “Any person or entity who intentionally obtains unauthorized access to or who alters or destroys information contained in the controlled substances prescription database shall be guilty of a Class C felony.”
What if Bentley or his associates tampered with medical records in Missouri, where he apparently is not licensed to practice medicine? What if Rebekah Mason directed the tampering on the governor's behalf. What if individuals in Missouri knowingly participated in such a scheme?
The ramifications, given use of the word "felony" above, could be serious.