Friday, December 2, 2016

UA counsel Cooper Shattuck resigns barely a week after being named in lawsuit brought by ex security chief against "Luv Guv" Bentley and Rebekah Mason

Cooper Shattuck
Cooper Shattuck, chief legal counsel for the University of Alabama System and a confidant of embattled Gov. Robert Bentley, has resigned. The move comes eight days after Wendell Ray Lewis, Bentley's former security chief, filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit against the governor and his adviser/mistress Rebekah Caldwell Mason.

Also named in the lawsuit is ACEGOV, a nonprofit that Shattuck formed, apparently to funnel money to Mason. Just two days ago, we wrote a post about the Lewis lawsuit and its likely discomfiting effects on officials at the University of Alabama and Alabama Power. Shattuck is mentioned prominently in the lawsuit:

A few months after Lewis retired earlier than he had ever intended to, he was contacted about a senior security position with The University of Alabama. He met with Cooper Shattuck, formerly Governor Bentley’s Legal Advisor and now General Counsel to the University System. Shattuck spoke to Lewis about helping with University security, perhaps having a role with Coach Saban, whom Shattuck described as “the University’s greatest asset.” Eventually, Shattuck turned the conversation to the Governor. He asked Lewis his thoughts. Lewis told Shattuck, honestly and soberly, that he thought eventually the Governor would be held accountable, and that he should be. Shattuck replied, “Well, I plan to be a friend to him when he falls.” Lewis never heard back from Shattuck about the University security job.

Shattuck plans to be a friend to Bentley when the "Luv Guv" falls? Is this resignation part of that plan? Was it forced on Shattuck or did he willingly give up what would seem to be a dream job for any UA graduate?

The answers to those questions are not clear, but Shattuck seems to be managing the story by releasing it yesterday afternoon via Fox News Tuscaloosa. Perhaps that is a news outlet he knew would not ask too many questions? Here is the official news release:

After over four years of service as General Counsel for The University of Alabama System, Cooper Shattuck has announced his resignation effective December 31, 2016. Shattuck plans to pursue a number of professional opportunities, including his recent nomination as a candidate for President-Elect of the Alabama State Bar.

“After many years of public service to the State and to the state’s largest education enterprise, I am looking forward to returning to the private practice of law where I can utilize my broad-based experience to further the interests and accomplish the goals of numerous clients,” Shattuck said.

Shattuck joined The University of Alabama System as General Counsel in August 2012. He previously served as Chief Legal Advisor to Governor Robert Bentley, where he worked extensively on the restoration of the environmental impact and recovery of the economic damages sustained by the state as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident.

“I had the pleasure of working with Cooper over the past four years,” current Chancellor Ray Hayes explained. “During his tenure, Cooper maintained and grew a great team in the Office of Counsel and accomplished much. It will be difficult to find his replacement; however, he will assist with the transition.”

John Daniel, Chief University Counsel at UAB, has been named Interim General Counsel, and will work with Shattuck over the next month to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. With over 38,000 employees, 65,000 students, 50 affiliated entities, and a combined budget of over $5.6 billion, The University of Alabama System is the state’s largest education enterprise.

Shattuck put his house on the market last month, according to our sources. That suggests Shattuck is not planning to stick around Tuscaloosa. Where might he wind up? The Beasley Allen law firm in Montgomery is one possible landing place, our sources say. If Bentley picks Luther Strange to replace Jeff Sessions as U.S. Senator, Shattuck might be in line to take over as attorney general.


Anonymous said...

Bentley will never appoint Strange; Strange could never be approved after Senate Judiciary Committee learning after Sessions' investigation how many years Strange has been engaged in carrying Sessions' and Pryor's enforcement and judicial garbage cloaked from public. President-elect Trump, voted for him or not; like him or not; for damn sure he has brought back to life and the spirit within masses of working me and women throughout the United States.

Anonymous said...

"Baby, I love you. I know we are in a difficult situation. Unless I make things as normal as possible here, it is going to be hell."

Some readers may detect a whiff of possible scandal wafting from this coverage of the Shattuck resignation.

"Shattuck joined the UA system in August 2012 after serving as chief legal counsel for Gov. Robert Bentley. While working at UA, Shattuck established 501(c)4 nonprofit group, the Alabama Council for Excellent Government. ACEGov was founded to promote Bentley's agenda, Shattuck told the Times Daily in 2015.

Shattuck's resignation comes a week after ACEGov was named a defendant in a wrongful termination suit against Bentley. Bentley's former security chief, Wendell Ray Lewis, filed against Bentley, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, the governor's former top aide; her company, RCM Communications; and ACEGov – which paid at least Mason at least $15,000 in 2015."

There is more at the link.

"When I stand behind you, and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands (unintelligible) and just pull you real close. I love that, too. "

"Baby, let me know what I am going to do when I start locking the door. If we are going to do what we did the other day, we are going to have to start locking the door. "

Anonymous said...

Hardison apparently doesn't buy that it's business as usual with the resignation of Shattuck. Apparently WBRC wasn't the chosen messenger for the story either.

"Jonathan Hardison Verified account

Jonathan Hardison Retweeted Jenn Horton

Whoa.......not the last you'll hear of the implications of this:

Jonathan Hardison added,
Jenn Horton @JennWSFA
BREAKING: Cooper Shattuck, General Counsel for UA resigns, Shattuck is former legal advisor for Bentley, involved in AceGov 501(c)(4)
12:17 PM - 1 Dec 2016"

Anonymous said...

Wow, the cockroaches really run when disturbed!

Phenix City

Anonymous said...

Shattuck's press release is pure horse pucky. He was forced out, no doubt in my mind.

legalschnauzer said...

@11:48 -- Thanks for the info re: Hardison and Horton

@11:39 -- Thanks for info re: BBJ coverage.

This story is getting out there, drip by drip.

Anonymous said...

There is a big "rest of the story" with this one, which the public is not supposed to know. Where is Paul Harvey when you need him?

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Shattuck wanted word about his exit to get out in a restricted way, mostly to a T-town audience, but he did not want it to become a statewide story, where various reporters (and the public) would start asking questions.

Anonymous said...

I see the Shattuck story on WBRC Web site, but I wonder if there was a broadcast report about it?

legalschnauzer said...

Good question, @1:12, and I don't know the answer. Anyone see a broadcast report re: Shattuck at WBRC. To make it any kind of visual story, you'd think they would have to do an on-camera interview with him, and I doubt he would agree to that.

Anonymous said...

[To make it any kind of visual story, you'd think they would have to do an on-camera interview with him, and I doubt he would agree to that.]

Not necessarily.

Watch John McCain Literally Run Away When Reporter Asks About Blocking SCOTUS Nominees

--Michele Bachmann runs away from reporter in a very odd and entertaining video.

Rand Paul Runs Away From Local Reporter After Taping Fox News Interview

Anonymous said...

This is a pre-emptive strike by UAT. They are trying to distance themselves from Mr. Shattuck, offering him as a sacrificial lamb in hopes that no one will look closer at the university regarding the "Luv Guv" and "Home Wrecky Becky."

Others at UAT are involved in this, but they are hoping Shattuck's ouster will help make it go away.

Anonymous said...

Looks like is ignoring this story so far. Hmmmm . . .

Anonymous said...

It's obvious to me that Shattuck was forced out. First paragraph of his news release says he "plans" to pursue other opportunities, but it gives no indication that he has anything lined up. It says he's a candidate to be president-elect of the Alabama State Bar, but that doesn't sound set either. Even if it is, I'm pretty sure that's not a full-time position, and it lasts for only 1-2 years. You give up job as top lawyer at UA System for that? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

You're kickin' ass again, Schnauzer. Except for a buried story on WBRC Web site, no one had touched this story until you broke it into the open. Keep up the good work. There's a dark story of some sort underneath the surface on this one.


Anonymous said...

For some reason Mr Shattuk's LinkedIn profile doesn't mention ACEGov.

I'm not sure why that would not be mentioned. ACEGov has been getting some publicity lately, even though the ACEGov website appears to be 404. Maybe a busy guy like Mr. Shattuck wouldn't typically put much emphasis on obscure 501c(4) nonprofits when their professional life is so full of whatever it is full of.

Anonymous said...

State officials are looking into allegations that members of Gov. Robert Bentley’s staff were paid with federal money meant for anti-terrorist efforts, the governor’s spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency “is researching this question and will provide a response,” Bentley spokeswoman Yasamie August wrote in an email to The Anniston Star.

Governor’s office uncertain if staff salaries paid by federal anti-terror money By Tim Lockette, Star Staff Writer, Nov 29, 2016

Anonymous said...


"A dark-money group at the heart of Gov. Robert Bentley’s ongoing political troubles declared Tuesday that it’s paying no current members of the governor’s staff — including two new staffers who have yet to get a paycheck from state government.

“We’re not supplying the governor with staff,” said Richard Raleigh, a lawyer for ACEGov, a nonprofit set up by Bentley to promote his policy agenda.

The Anniston Star began asking about the two new staffers — executive assistant Marilyn Taylor and legal adviser Bill Patty — on Monday. Both were listed on the governor’s website as part of the governor’s staff: state records show no payment to either staffer."

Officials: No outside pay for governor’s new staffers By Tim Lockette, Star Staff Writer, Nov 29, 2016

It’s unclear whether ACEGov — the organization which paid part of Rebekah Mason’s salary while she worked for the governor — is still footing the bill for staff in the governor’s office. Attempts to reach the group’s leader, Cooper Shattuck, were unsuccessful Monday.

Anonymous said...

Governor Bentley, the Governor's touchy feelie horny guy recordings, the Lewis lawsuit allegations and ACEGov were among the things mentioned in the lead segment on The Rachel Maddow Show on the 29th of November.

I suppose it is possible that some staffers for the very important people at or connected to UA might have had some google alerts set for ACEGov and other topics of interest for the very important people at or connected to UA. Having the Rachel Maddow Show transcript appear in any of the staffer inboxes would be something which might require immediate notification of the very important people at or connected to UA. This was probably not viewed as happy news by the staffers or the very important people at or connected to UA. It might even be the type of news that sometimes leads to one of those moving on to other things press releases.

" Of all the attractive and in some cases alluring governors that we have in
these 50 fine states in our country – and honestly, they`re an unusually
handsome bunch of governors that we have in this country. Of all the
governors that we`ve got in this country, you would not necessarily expect
that the one governor of all the 50, the one governor who would be living
through an ongoing, raging sex scandal right now, complete with sex tapes
you wouldn`t expect that the one with the sex scandal would be this
handsome devil.

But he is the governor of Alabama. And his ongoing lurid sex scandal
continues to be one of the weirder side bar stories in American politics
right now. It`s fairly lurid stuff. His amorous discussions with one of
his top advisers were published, were broadcast by the “Birmingham News”
website earlier this week. They`re all about what he`d like to do with her
and how he hoped his secretary couldn`t hear too much from outside the
governor`s office door when they were in there doing – yeah.

You might remember the tapes. I don`t really feel like playing them
anymore. But last night, we reported on a new wrinkle in this story, a new
unlawful dismissal lawsuit that was filed against the governor and against
his alleged mistress. "


As bad as that is, it just gets worse for the very important people at or connected with UA and their staffers.

To be continued in part two where ACEGov gets mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Part two

The Rachel Maddow Show apparently missed where IIRC both of the Masons were on the state payroll at one point. Which might have made the following look even worse for people not closely following the ongoing saga of Governor Bent and his squeeze Miss Becky Home Wrecky (who allegedly wears or has worn the Governor's pants), and the lost and found little blue pills.

"So, it`s just this lurid story that continues to spin out in Alabama. It
now has national implications because of its links to the Trump
administration. And one of the truly strange lingering storylines in that
whole sordid, ongoing story in Alabama is the question of how exactly the
alleged mistress got into the governor`s office in first place. Because by
all accounts, she was the top adviser to the governor, traveled with him
everywhere, was at all of his events. Multiple legal complaints that have
arisen around this affair have described her as the de facto governor,
described her as the person who was actually making decisions in Governor
Bentley`s office while Bentley was allowing her to run the place behind the

And all along through this story, there`s been this interesting question of
where exactly she came from. Who was paying her salary? Because it`s
undisputed that she was working with the governor`s office every day,
undisputed that she was his closest staff member, at all of his events,
involved in all his high ranking decisions, but she was never a government

It`s really weird fact in this lurid story. The taxpayers of Alabama were
not paying her salary. And whether or not she was shtupping the governor,
that`s kind of weird, right? To have somebody working in the governor`s
office every day who was not a government employee?

Well, the group that apparently was paying her is called the Alabama
Council for Excellent Government. was their website.

But when the alleged relationship between the governor and this mysterious
aide became a national sex scandal, they disappeared their website. This
is their website today. It`s just nothing. It`s just a little place
holder, in case you might want to build something at because
there`s nothing there now.

So, in the middle of this raging story with national implications, there`s
this black hole, there`s this group that was apparently paying this woman
who was in the governor`s office every day, this group does not answer its
phones, they don`t have a physical presence anywhere. You can knock on the
door. They don`t respond to requests for comment. If they were paying her
that money, we have no idea where that money comes from, or what the group
was trying to do."

Imagine hearing the full name "Alabama Council for Excellent Government" in this context. Har har. Survey says most think someone was polishing turds from the get go. Almost as much har har as wondering what Governor Bent got out of all of this. Other than a divorce and family friction that is.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like someone is looking closely at ACEGOV. Luther Strange? Maybe, but I doubt it. The feds? Quite possible.

Anonymous said...

"Cooper Shattuck resigns as top lawyer for University of Alabama System

"Shattuck was the incorporator and chairman of the Alabama Council for Excellent Government, ACEGOV*, a nonprofit formed in 2015 to promote Bentley's policies."

*The Alabama Council for Excellent Government promotes public policies that give Alabamians a more efficient, effective, accountable and excellent government. Page 5 ACEGov 2105 IRS 990 filing.) RAMMER JAMMER YELLOW HAMMER!!!

"Shattuck said the lawsuits had "nothing whatsoever" to do with his resignation." RAMMER JAMMER YELLOW HAMMER!!!

"Well, I love you, and I do. You know, I worry about sometimes I love you so much, I worry about loving you so much. I do. I do. You know, I feel like, all the time I’m thinking, “How can I contact her? How can I call her? How can I text her? How can I be in contact with her? How can we do this?"

"Hey, I love you. I love touching you. I do. Hey, I do, I do love putting my hands (inaudible) and just pulling you in real tight. I do, I do, I do enjoy that.


But, baby, let me tell you what we’re gonna have to do, we’re gon’ have to start locking the door. If we’re gonna do what we did the other day we’re gonna have to start locking the door.

You know what, it is kinda scary. Somebody open that door? Mmm." RAMMER JAMMER YELLOW HAMMER!!!

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for sharing, @7:12. Do you believe Shattuck's line about the lawsuit having nothing to do with his resignation? The only way that's true, in my view, is if he resigned because federal investigators are on his ass.

Anonymous said...

Who am I to doubt anything he says?

By the way, Shattuck has already discussed ACEGov in some detail on the record.

ACEGOV distances itself from Bentley, addresses website
By Cassie Fambro and Emily DeVoe Published: April 5, 2016, 2:57 pm Updated: April 5, 2016, 5:30 pm

When asked if the organization was disabled, Shattuck said no and that the website was down simply because their web contract expired. In a later email, Shattuck said that RCM Communications, the marketing firm owned and operated by Rebekah Mason, was managing the website and cancelled its contract with ACEGOV.

"Web contract expired" means almost exactly the same thing as "cancelled its contract" right? The fact that apparently it took "a later email" to reveal that it was RCM Communications on the other side of this hosting contract with ACEGOV, and that the contract was cancelled by RCM rather than the "contract expiring" initial explanation; those kind of clarifications are apparently sometimes needed.

It seems like for some reason ACEGov never got around to signing a new web hosting contract. Maybe ACEGov decided to save money in order to help give Alabamians a more efficient, effective, accountable and excellent government?

“There is no relationship between ACEGOV and UA and Alabama Power. There are plenty of examples of people who are employed by one entity serving on the Boards of other entities with whom their employers have no relationship. ACEGOV is no different.”

Nothing to see.

Why ACEGov would be paying significant sums of money to a woman..


Shattuck added that ACEGOV’s relationship with Mason was though her company RCM Communications.

All right then!

When I stand behind you, and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands (unintelligible) and just pull you real close. I love that, too.

It wasn't like the Governor was talking about feeling up RCM Communications (which is a properly registered Alabama corporation). THAT might have presented some sort of awkward situation to explain.

Anonymous said...

Hey now!

I wonder whose idea this was?

"Attorney General Luther Strange is strongly being considered to replace Sen. Jeff Sessions upon his confirmation as US Attorney General. And of the many names being floated to fill Strange’s position, one name has risen to the top: Bentley’s close associate, Cooper Shattuck."

Really! Who owns this?

Was it Governor Bent in the airplane with his favorite boobs?

Or was it Becky HomeWrecky behind the locked door?

This smooth move should go over really well in Montgomery.

One thing working in Governor Bent's favor is um ...well...