Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Text messages and audio recordings confirm extramarital affair between Gov. Robert Bentley and aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason, former ALEA head says

Gov. Robert Bentley and
Rebekah Caldwell Mason
Text messages and audio recordings "of a sexual nature" suggest Gov. Robert Bentley and chief aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason had an extramarital affair, says the former chief of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA).

Spencer Collier, whom Bentley fired yesterday, said he has heard an audiotape of a conversation between Bentley and Mason that left no doubt about the nature of the relationship. On the tape, Bentley makes comments about Mason's "breasts and behind," Collier says.

Before we examine the "rest of the story," allow us to line up our trumpet players for a clarion call. Who broke the story of the Bentley-Mason affair? We did. Who took significant heat for reporting that was based on extremely knowledgeable anonymous sources? We did. Who has been sued twice for "defamation" by Republican operatives--Rob Riley/Liberty Duke and Jessica Medeiros Garrison--and absorbed childish taunts from various Alabama news outlets? We have. Have either the Riley/Duke or Garrison claims ever been proven at trial (a jury trial is required, by law, in defamation cases). Nope, there never has been a trial in either case. Since they never have proven their claims in any adversarial proceeding--much less an actual trial--that means, by law, my reporting is true.

In the Garrison case, I was hit with a $3.5 million default judgment that is not remotely supported by law; in fact, that judgment, by definition, is void because I never received notice of the default hearing, and an Alabama lawyer who examined the file said the record shows no one even attempted to give me notice.

In the Riley case, I was hit with roughly $30,000 in attorney fees--never mind that state law prohibits an award of attorney fees against a non-lawyer party who is representing himself, as I was.

A number of news outlets have made light of the money I allegedly owe, without ever mentioning that neither order has any basis in law or fact. Does that chap my fanny? Yes, it does.

But let's look at the scoreboard now: Legal Schnauzer's reporting on the Bentley-Mason affair, a story we broke last August, is true. Our reporting on Rob Riley/Liberty Duke and Jessica Garrison, as a matter of law, is true.

Spencer Collier
The score? By my count, it's Legal Schnauzer 3, Republican thugs/shysters 0.

That sound you hear are trumpets blaring, not only for Legal Schnauzer but for the Web-based press in general--without which all of these stories, plus news of U.S. Judge Bill Pryor's gay-porn nudie photos--never would have reached public view. (And by the way, the Pryor story is accurate too, so I guess that makes the score 4-0.)

Now that we are done patting ourselves on the back, let's take a closer look at Spencer Collier's revelations. This is from a report at

Spencer Collier, head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency until he was fired today, said this afternoon he has seen and investigated text messages and audio recordings "of a sexual nature" between Gov. Robert Bentley and his chief advisor, Rebekah Caldwell Mason.

It is the first on-the-record confirmation of a long-rumored affair from someone claiming personal knowledge of what took place, though people close to the governor argue it is the last gasp of an angry man.

But Collier lays out times and dates.

Collier, who was placed on medical leave by the governor last month, said he saw and heard evidence of the relationship in 2014 and approached the governor – who he considered a friend and father figure. He said the governor confirmed the relationship, but vowed to end it quickly.

"It's a horrible, ugly episode and I am ashamed to have been around it," Collier said. "But I told him I would never lie for him."

Here is where things really heat up:

Collier said the first evidence of an affair arose Aug. 2, 2014, when Stan Stabler – who took his place as the head of ALEA – saw a text message from Mason on Bentley's cell phone. Collier said Stabler saw the message after the governor dropped his phone at a Business Council of Alabama conference at Point Clear.

He said Stabler notified his then-boss, former Bentley security officer Ray Lewis, of the "sexual nature" of the text. . . .

Three days later, at 3 p.m. on Aug. 5, 2014, Lewis brought a laptop to Collier and played an audiotape of conversations between the governor and Mason, Collier said. The tape, purportedly created by a Bentley family member hoping for an "intervention," left no doubt about the relationship, he said.

"'If we're gonna do what we did yesterday we're going to have to lock that door,'" Collier says Mason said.

The governor responded, Collier maintains, with improper comments about "her breasts and behind."

Gee, imagine if Bentley weren't such a "man of God" with "conservative, Christian values." Without that, he probably would have turned the Governor's Mansion into something that looks like a scene from Caligula.


Anonymous said...

Good grief LS! Based on the things I'm hearing at the press conference, you ought to have enough material for a years worth of articles. Forget AM...this is a real life affair of the highest order in the state of Alabama. I can't imagine the number of nuggets you will get from the press conference and colliers comments. Wow!

Noel D. Crosby said...

Then appeal Riley and appeal Garrison, Mr. Schnauzer. No more excuses. The public record of your defeats makes a lie of your supposed legal expertise. Appeal, or refrain from claiming you have the legal high ground.

It was P.T. Barnum who said "Talk is cheap... until you hire a lawyer."

Anonymous said...

Roger, do you think there will be as much bloodlust for Bentley as their will be for Siegelman and Scrushy?

Oh yeah, on a side note, did you see where Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr's attorney wrote Obama about one of our political prisoners, Don Siegelman?

Anonymous said...

Your reasoning behind your 4-0 victory is a misrepresentation of the facts. Just because you didn't have a trial that proved the allegations aren't true, doesn't mean that the allegations are true. It is that type of logic that calls your opinion into question.

Anonymous said...

Being unfaithful to your wife is bad enough, but if there are financial favors given to Mason shouldn't that be against the law? That happens a lot of times in these circumstances.

e.a.f. said...

Reading this blog is so much better than watching soap operas. You'd have difficulty believing this was the government of a major American state. Oh, well. Keep up the good work. This is information the voters of Alabama have the right to know. It keeps those of us outside of the State of Alabama entertained.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Schnauzer, you keep patting yourself on the back like that, and you are going to tear a ligament in your arm. Could be a worse injury than the missus had. Be careful.

legalschnauzer said...

Good point, @6:08. Already feeling tightness in my shoulder. Might have to get appointment with orthopedist. Patting yourself on the back sure is fun, though.

legalschnauzer said...

Mr. Crosby:

You seem to be of the deluded belief that appeals courts rule correctly under the law. Nothing could be further from the truth. At the state level, you usually get an "Affirmed, No Opinion" ruling, which explains nothing and often is erroneous through and through. At federal level, you often get an unpublished opinion, which often includes so many violations of established law that to publish it would screw up the case law. Maybe you are new to this blog, but I've written numerous posts about these subjects. In fact, I wrote just a day or two ago about "Do Not Publish" opinions. Even major legal scholars have stated that the appeals process is badly broken, with clerks writing opinions and judges often not even looking at cases. You need to educate yourself.

legalschnauzer said...

You are wrong, @4:30, and if you knew anything about the law, you would recognize that.

Riley/Duke and Garrison were plaintiffs--they brought the lawsuits--and the burden of proof was on them to prove (at trial, before a jury) my reporting was false and defamatory. They didn't come close to meeting their burden, and they didn't even ask for jury trials in their initial filings. (Riley/Duke never asked for a jury trial.)

If they failed to meet their burden, then my reporting was not false and not defamatory, as a matter of law. Riley/Duke and Garrison filed lawsuits, and all they got from them was a record that proves that, under the law, my reporting was accurate.

We know today, without doubt, my reporting was accurate on the Bentley/Mason story, and I know it's accurate about Bill Pryor.

These are legal concepts that perhaps you can't grasp, but my reasoning is right on target.

Riley/Duke and Garrison only received favorable court rulings because they made sure I couldn't defend myself (via bogus incarceration and foreclosure) and they stayed away from juries, "hiring" corrupt judges to give them what they wanted.

Claud Neilson, in the Riley case, didn't even try to hide that he's a crooked SOB. But I was hopeful Don Blankenship, in Garrison case, would be different. But he caved too, probably because of some favor. I look for him to run for re-election with no opposition. Or it's possible he took a nice, clean cash payout.

Sad to say that a black Democrat like Blankenship is nothing but a judicial whore. Sad to think MLK and many others gave their lives so whores like Blankenship and Abdul Kallon could reside on the AL bench.

legalschnauzer said...

Good question, @4:24. I don't look for Bentley to face anything like the consequences Siegelman and Scrushy faced. Bentley is a "Christian" and a "conservative," and he fooled around with a white woman who claims to have those same virtues, so many Alabamians will overlook it in a day or two.

Plus, the Obama DOJ is beyond worthless, so Bentley has nothing to worry about on the criminal front. At the state criminal level, he's got Luther Strange and . . . well, don't make me laugh.

Hell, I spent five months in jail for writing a blog that Rob Riley and Bill Pryor didn't like--because it was too accurate for their taste. Bentley probably should spend years in prison, along with cronies like Mason and Cooper Shattuck, but I doubt they ever will spend a day behind bars.

"Conservative Christians" have a get-out-of-jail-free card. The public is so delusional and ignorant (in general, with many individual exceptions) that they don't even recognize criminality in "conservative Christians."

How else do you explain Bob and Rob Riley, that they remain free, while Don Siegelman is in prison.

Anonymous said...

Hey, @4:30, you actually sound butt-hurt because LS's reporting has been proven accurate--which is no surprise for those of us who have followed the blog regularly.

What's it like to be that shallow? Must be a dreadful life you lead.

Anonymous said...

After all the Alabama governors elect that have gotten in trouble Bentley should have known better. It must be a lot of arrogance an invinsibilty to ignore common sense.

legalschnauzer said...

In my rush to take a victory lap, I failed to mention a key element (THE key element) of our reporting on the Bentley/Mason story.'

I have good sources, extremely good sources. I trust them, and they trust me, and that's how the Bentley/Mason story came to light last August--long before would even mention the word "affair" in its reporting.

Those sources also were central to our reporting on Rob Riley/Liberty Duke, Jessica Garrison/Luther Strange, and Bill Pryor/Bad Puppy. Those stories also were reported accurately--again, because my sources are world-class.

I can't provide their names and thank them publicly, but they know who they are--and the entire state of Alabama should thank them. This story never develops without them.

It's been said that "a reporter is only as good as his sources." No truer words were ever spoken.

Anonymous said...

Great job. Total vindication.

Anonymous said...

Just make sure that orthopedist doesn't turn out to be a dermatologist who used to practice his medicine in Tuscaloosa and you'll be just fine, if you get my meaning. HA!

Anonymous said...

Someone said it will be forgotten because he is "christian and God fearing," and unfortunately that is probably true. Just another hippocrite.

Anonymous said...

Just a little excerpt (what Christ had to say about hypocrisy) from Matthew and the Sermon on the Mount:
23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

Anonymous said...

Go get 'em LS!

Noel D. Crosby said...

I should say that some of Mr. Schnauzer's leaps in logic make my old head spin!

Schnauzer must know even if his reporting was in some cases false it might not be found defamatory, as a matter of law. Although that doesn't actually matter in the Garrison action, since his reporting was in fact found defamatory. The only place he has prevailed has been in the court of his mind, where Schnauzer is both judge and jury. I win cases there myself, all the time!

His explanation for his lack of appeals doesn't ring true, though he does admit that he knows he couldn't be successful. That's something.

We have another term for the sort of moral victories claimed here by Mr. Schnauzer: we call them defeats.

Anonymous said...

So if I were to say that Roger didn't have his wife immediately take the posts about Riley down because he liked taking it up the butt in jail, you would consider that true until he sued me in court and it was found defamatory? You have to take it as true since that's the legal concept that you have provided. Now you want to take the word of someone who was fired by Bentley. Why did he wait if it was such a big deal and why would Bentley fire him if he knew he would talk about the affair? This has the appearance that he is trying to get revenge on Bentley and may or may not be fact based. When someone who has nothing to lose speaks, it isn't as believable as someone that does.

Anonymous said...

I doubt this is the good doctor's first rodeo. I wonder if others will reveal themselves.

legalschnauzer said...

I agree, @10:04. This seems to be part of his make-up. Not sure it's Ms. Mason's first rodeo either.

legalschnauzer said...

That's not what I said, @6:11. Nice attempt at twisting words into pretzels, but it just suggests you aren't bright enough to grasp relatively simple legal concepts. As for your questions about Spencer Collier, you would be better off to ask him. But I think the audio shows that Mr. Collier's statements are "fact based."

Anonymous said...

Roger can't we discuss and disagree without you calling me not bright? You're clearly a smart man and an expert in the law, I come here to learn and discuss. Respect my friend!

legalschnauzer said...

Mr. Crosby:

You apparently enjoy being misinformed, and you seem to have limited reading-comprehension skills, so there's not much I can do to help you. I can say that your claim that my "reporting was in fact found defamatory" in the Garrison action is demonstrably false. I invite you to look up the file at AlaCourt and show us where there was a trial (much less a jury trial, as required by First Amendment law). I can save you the trouble; there was no trial, which means Garrison could not possibly prove her case, and my reporting was not false and defamatory, as a matter of law. A judge sitting on his ass, after hearing perjured testimony in a non-adversarial proceeding (with no discovery), and claiming something is defamatory . . . well, that's not a lawful finding. It has zero value.

If it makes you feel good to remain "out to lunch," feel free to stay in your little cocoon. The rest of us will be fine without you.

legalschnauzer said...

11:18--I don't know who you are, what post you are referring to, or what I said in response. If you can provide additional information, perhaps we can discuss in some meaningful way.

Noel D. Crosby said...

Mr. Schnauzer, next time someone takes this sort of legal action against you, I suggest you mount some sort of defence!

And appeal, sir, appeal! I would help fund it if you would let me.


Anonymous said...

What is the prayer the greasy christer politicians say when they see sh*t like this Bentley hot mess?

Pray that it is thine enemies hoist on own retard rather than thou?