Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) and the state’s former top cop are in the middle of a public battle after Bentley fired the official Tuesday, prompting him to accuse the governor of having an affair with his top advisor.
Spencer Collier laid out the evidence he said he saw of the affair to AL.com the same day he was fired by Bentley as head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Bentley fired Collier after an internal investigation at the agency found he possibly misused state dollars during his tenure.
Collier said that he did “nothing wrong” and welcomed a review of the investigation’s results by the state attorney general, AL.com reported.
Rumors of an affair between Bentley and his chief adviser, Rebekah Mason, have circulated for years, but the news site reported that Collier’s claim to have seen evidence of the affair in 2014 was the first on-the-record confirmation of the rumored relationship.
Bentley and his wife, Dianne, divorced last year. Dianne Bentley filed for the divorce citing “complete incompatibility of temperament.”
Collier told AL.com that in 2014, Stan Stabler, who replaced him as head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, saw a text from Mason of a “sexual nature” on Bentley’s phone. Collier said Stabler alerted his boss, former Bentley security officer Ray Lewis, of the text.
Stabler said in a statement to the publication that Collier’s story was “completely false and without merit,” while the news site was unable to reach Lewis.
Collier also told AL.com that Lewis later brought him a recording of conversations between Bentley and Mason that included inappropriate comments about Mason’s “breasts and behind.” Collier alleged that Lewis erased the recording, which was a copy of a tape made by Bentley’s family, who hoped for an “intervention.”
Jennifer Ardis, a spokeswoman for the governor, denied Collier’s allegations to AL.com.
It wasn’t clear if Collier told his story before or after he was fired, according to the report.