|Gov. Robert Bentley and Rebekah Caldwell Mason|
The Robert Bentley administration has released a second document dump to a legislative committee overseeing possible impeachment proceedings -- and the material includes false information about alleged efforts to delete or alter visitor log-in sheets at the Governor's mansion, according to a new post from Alabama Political Reporter (APR).
At the heart of the scheme, according to APR, is Bentley's advisor and mistress Rebekah Caldwell Mason, who announced her resignation in late March, but reportedly remains very much a part of the governor's inner circle. Mason's plan was designed to smear former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) chief Spencer Collier, who has sued Bentley, Mason and others over his termination earlier this year.
How did the latest Bentley/Mason scam take shape? Reports APR's Bill Britt:
The latest round of accusations shows Collier supposedly asking Bentley’s then-body-man Ray Lewis to delete or alter log-in sheets at the Governor’s mansion. Sign-in/sign-out logs are kept at the Governor’s mansion, as well as at the Blount Estate and beach property, as one of the security protocol’s to ensure the Governor’s safety.
Out of over 10,000 pages Bentley’s office say were turned over to the committee, at least 61 pages were secreted away in a scheme staffer’s link to the Governor’s alleged mistress, Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
The 61-page portion of the report can be viewed at the end of this post. It originally was published at WAAY TV.
Dianne Bentley, who divorced the governor roughly one year ago, raised concerns about visitor logs, not Collier, according to APR sources:
According to a former law enforcement agent, the questions about sign-in logs arose from Mrs. Bentley’s suspicions that her husband of 50 years was continuing a romantic relation with the married Mason, even after he had assured her it was over.
“In late 2014, Bentley convinced his wife he was no longer involved romantically with Mrs. Mason,” said the former trooper, “but she checked the records and had him dead to rights.”
According to these sources, Mrs. Bentley confided to Lewis that she had concerns about logs being altered or destroyed, in an attempt to cover the Governor’s sordid liaison with Mason. Lewis, out of his concern for Mrs. Bentley, inquired about the situation and found that inquiries about the logs were related to ALEA’s paperless security technology initiative and nothing more.
How ugly could all of this get? The answer appears to be: "Pretty darned ugly." Writes Britt:
When confronted about the sign-in logs, Bentley became furious and demanded the security protocol be stopped immediately. However, it was continued under Collier’s term despite Bentley’s order.
Current and former ALEA staff see this latest “data dump” as a continuation of the previous smears by Bentley and Mason.
One current Bentley staffer, speaking anonymously (for fear of retaliation) said, “Rebekah is vindictive and petty, but the Governor lets her do as she pleases and we have to fall in line or be fired,” adding, “I need this job, but I am terrified of what comes next.”
What comes next may be the result of a special grand jury impaneled in Montgomery County.