Monday, April 10, 2017

When Dianne Bentley set up recording device and announced she was going for a walk, it took "Luv Guv" 59 seconds to get on phone with Rebekah Mason

Heather Hannah
How crazy in lust was Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley at the height of his affair with senior adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason? When Dianne Bentley -- then the state's first lady and the governor's wife of 50 years -- had set up a recording device and said she was going for a long walk on the beach, it took the "Luv Guv" 59 seconds to get on the phone with Mason. Fifty-nine seconds! His wife probably wasn't even off the property yet. That was in March 2014, and the rapid response time must be some sort of record for a 71-year-old (at the time) horn dog.

How crazy with fury was Gov. Bentley when he became convinced that one of the first lady's assistants, Heather Hannah, had helped generate a tape recording of the "Luv Guv" gushing about the joys of fondling Mason's breasts and groping her nether regions? He sought to have Hannah arrested, apparently never considering that Hannah was only an accomplice, in the broadest sense of the word. The one who came up with the idea for the taping, and actually pushed the "record" button, was . . . Dianne Bentley. That means: (a) No crime likely was involved; (b) If a crime was involved, it would mean arresting not only Hannah, but Bentley's own wife, the state's beloved and much-admired first lady.

Consider these headlines: "Alabama's horn dog governor has his faithful wife of 50 years arrested for gathering evidence about his affair with aide who has glorious breasts."

We're talking "cray, cray" here, and those are just two instances from the House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Impeachment Report that suggest the "Luv Guv" was operating in an "out there" state of mind. No wonder some family members thought he had dementia.

How was a recording device set up to catch Gov. Bentley in heated and lustful discussions with Mason about various parts of her apparently luscious anatomy. Here is background from the HJC report:

The recording came about through Ms. Bentley’s collaboration with her chief of staff Heather Hannah. Ms. Bentley had asked Hannah to help her make a recording that she could use to “catch” her husband and Mason in their affair. They had discussed various options, including ordering a miniature recording device over the Internet. That thought was dismissed, primarily due to concerns with having the device securely delivered to Ms. Bentley. Ultimately, Ms. Bentley came up with the idea to use her cell phone’s recording feature but asked Hannah to show her how to operate it.

Was "Operation Horn Dog" an immediate success? Not exactly. But when it worked, Mrs. Bentley hit a home run -- apparently with little or no help from Hannah:

Ms. Bentley made several efforts to capture Governor Bentley on the phone with Mason at the Mansion, but those efforts failed. The successful recordings were made during the Bentleys’ trip to their beach house in March 2014. Ms. Bentley captured the first of two recordings by turning on the phone’s recording device, placing it in her purse on the sofa, and then announcing to her husband that she was taking a long walk on the beach. Promptly upon her departure—within approximately 59 seconds—Governor Bentley was on the phone with Mason.

The conversation begins with discussions of the weather but quickly moves to capturing Governor Bentley agreeing to extended commentary by Mason. Of particular note, prior to the conversation becoming more intimate in nature, is an extensive discussion about moving Wanda Kelly’s desk and rearranging the office. About halfway through the conversation, Governor Bentley engages in the now infamous monologue about how much he enjoys feeling Mason’s breasts and their need to lock the door to his office when engaging in certain activities.

As for the notion of arresting Heather Hannah, Bentley absolutely was serious about that. From the report:

Shortly after the August 5 intervention, Governor Bentley told Secretary [Spencer] Collier that he believed Heather Hannah had been responsible for making the recordings. He ordered Collier to find out whether there were criminal statutes that applied to Hannah’s suspected activity. He told Collier to be prepared to arrest Hannah if the tapes were released publicly. Collier went to his ALEA counsel, Deputy Attorney General Jason Swann, gave him a factual hypothetical about covert recording, and asked him to research the law to determine the applicability of any criminal statutes to the hypothetical. Swann provided Collier with copies of the relevant eavesdropping statute and discussed the law with him. Sometime later, Collier confided to Swann that the research he had asked him to do related to Governor Bentley and said “we’re looking into it.”

Gov. Bentley and Collier had a conversation on the same topic with Scott Lee, an SBI special agent who had agreed to become an "on-call investigator" for Collier:

Governor Bentley and Secretary Collier told Lee that the person they suspected had planted the recording device was a young woman who had served as Dianne Bentley’s assistant. They suspected that the young woman, as well as members of Governor Bentley’s family, might be in possession of the tapes. They also mentioned that Collier had paid a visit to a woman about the tapes on the night of the election. Bentley and Collier wanted Lee’s opinions about opening an investigation into the matter. . . .
Dianne and Robert Bentley
Lee told Governor Bentley that possession of materials illegally obtained was a misdemeanor. Lee’s intent in the meeting, he says, was to communicate to Governor Bentley that Lee would not alter the investigation, once begun, if Lee determined that members of Governor Bentley’s family had committed crimes. . . .
After Lee told Bentley and Collier that he would insist on seeing any investigation through to its conclusions, he was not asked to proceed with the investigation.

Alabama's primary criminal eavesdropping statutes can be found at Code of Alabama 13A-11-31 and 13A-11-33. The following, from Sec. 33, might have been central to any investigation of Heather Hannah:

(a) A person commits the crime of installing an eavesdropping device if he intentionally installs or places a device in a private place with knowledge it is to be used for eavesdropping and without permission of the owner and any lessee or tenant or guest for hire of the private place.

We are not in a position at the moment to research case law on this subject. But the statutory language suggests that Dianne Bentley, as an owner of the "private place," had a lawful right to install an eavesdropping device on the premises. That suggests the recordings were captured lawfully, and Heather Hannah likely would not be subject to a charge of possessing illegally obtained materials.

Our assessment? The governor of a state should be smart enough to read the eavesdropping statute and realize there likely was no case against Heather Hannah. That Bentley was determined to seek an investigation anyway, should raise serious questions about his fitness for office.

Alabama House Judiciary Committee Impeachment Report, Including Exhibits


Anonymous said...

Luv Guv had important issues to discuss with Home Wrecky Becky -- two of them, to be precise.

Anonymous said...

Most people sow their wild oats in their late teens or early 20s. Luv Guv had to wait until he was about 70, and he was responsible for a whole state, to sow his.

Thanks, Luv Guv.

Can I get a outloud JEEBUS from everyone said...

59 seconds?

After nearly 50 years of marriage the old snake in the grass was apparently predictable.

Anyone else titillated that Bentley taught Becky's Sunday school class?

Anonymous said...

Great, we're getting to pay for Luv Guv's delayed adolescence.

legalschnauzer said...

I assume the 59 seconds started when she pushed the record button on her phone. Depending on where she placed the phone, it must have taken her 10-15 seconds to get out of the house. That makes Luv Guv's feat even more remarkable.

Anonymous said...

Move out of Alabama while you are young, go back at some point, but if you leave while young your views will be more precise.

legalschnauzer said...

@2:10 --

Allow me to add an addendum to your comment. After living in Alabama for 35 years, I now live in my native state of Missouri, and I can't wait to get back to Alabama. Missouri, especially its southern half is basically Alabamastan. Its judges, lawyers, cops are every bit as corrupt as those in Alabama. My reading indicates a number of Great Plains states -- Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Idaho, Montana -- are much like Alabama. And of course, the entire Deep South -- from Texas to North Carolina and parts of Virginia -- are much like Alabama. I would suggest that leaving Alabama, by itself, is not the answer. It depends on where you go. And at least Alabama has a lot of wonderful attributes -- beaches, mountains, lakes, rivers, natural beauty, good weather -- to recommended it.

Anonymous said...

Are Becky Mason's boobs all that fantastic? Are they worth all this trouble? The public wants to know.

Anonymous said...

Consider these headlines: "Alabama's horn dog governor has his faithful wife of 50 years arrested for gathering evidence about his affair with aide who has glorious breasts."

Hah . . . hah . . . hah !!! (Spew Coke through nose)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your research and analysis on the eavesdropping issue. Don't think I've seen this anywhere else. It appears Dianne Bentley had every right to place an eavesdropping device on property where she is an owner. Very interesting. We can always count on you to provide this kind of important insight. After all, you are the LEGAL Schnauzer.

Anonymous said...

@2:39, I've seen some mighty fine boobs in my time, and even felt a few, but I haven't seen any, or felt any, that would be worth this.

Anonymous said...

Smart move on Bentley's lawyers by getting Matt Hart involved.

Anonymous said...

Governor Bentley has not updated his twitter since April 6.

But he did make bail this afternoon!

legalschnauzer said...

@4:40 --

Did he stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

Anonymous said...

Just a few thoughts…Mrs. Mason, knew what she was doing the first time she brushed her boobs or bootie on the old man. Bobby would have been afraid to initiate. He knows what "sexual harassment " means, but as she continued to "stroke" him, he relaxed, and was "sucked' into her trap. He knew better, but the hook was set. The smile, the touch, the perfume and now encouragement from her to "feel the merchandise" Meanwhile, she and Jon ( the spineless one ) laughed and talked about it each night. This dude could pay them some big dividends and she would ( and did ) work him like" Santa Clause 365" Same old thing thats been going on since the beginning of time. Only this time, we ( the taxpayers ) paid for a lot of their fun. Imagine how much he could have done for the state of Alabama, had he kept his mind on the matters of the state and not her "ying yang" Just heard minutes ago that he resigned. They both need to pay a price !

legalschnauzer said...

@5:32 --

Yes, resignation story is just coming out. Will have a post up shortly. Not sure how I feel about this plea deal. For one thing, the terms of it are unclear to me.

Anonymous said...

I guess we know what Cooper Shattuck has been up to lately, since he resigned from UA.

AL.COM: Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigns amid sex scandal

Embattled Gov. Robert Bentley this afternoon agreed to a deal that forced him to resign the office of governor, plead guilty to two misdemeanors and agree to never again hold public office.

The extraordinary agreement, hammered out over the weekend and throughout the day by lawyers for the Alabama Attorney General's office and Bentley attorneys Chuck Malone and Cooper Shattuck,

Anonymous said...


DR Governor Robert Bentley twitted again!

"Thank you, Alabama. From the bottom of my heart. God Bless our Great State."

The old fucker must be going senile, or he is beyond irony!

Anonymous said...

@4:40 Here
He slept on Katie's couch.