MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A lawsuit filed against Governor Robert Bentley by former security chief Wendell Ray Lewis claims Bentley's relationship with former aide Rebekah Mason went beyond Bentley's admission of only "saying inappropriate things."
The lawsuit, filed today in Montgomery Circuit Court, names both Bentley and Mason. Lewis, the former detail leader for the governor's security detail, claims he and the governor had a conversation where the governor admitted to the physical affair.
Lewis asked the Governor, “Governor, there’s a lot of talk going on. Was it a physical relationship?” After initially hemming and hawing, the Governor replied, reluctantly but clearly, “Yeah, it was physical.”
In March, Bentley denied allegations of a physical affair with Mason, but admitted to saying “inappropriate things” to her.
The suit claims Lewis was one of many who knew about the affair and unsuccessfully pleaded with the governor to end it.
Lewis says Bentley once said to him, “If they don’t stop treating her like some sort of... I’ll fire ‘em all. In fact, I’ll fire anybody who continues to mistreat Rebekah.”
The suit says one of the only places Bentley had privacy was in his Montgomery governor's office.
"There were times when [Lewis] would observe Rebekah Mason coming out of the Governor’s office, with her hair all messed up, and straightening up her skirt as she emerged from the Governor’s office, after having been in there for hours."
Lewis also claims Bentley asked him to end the relationship between himself and Mason after being confronted about the use of state resources.
Lewis mustered up his courage and said to the Governor, “You know that you are getting into a touchy situation because we use state vehicles, we use state planes, to move about. You’re requesting to put her in there, that’s a problem. This is bigger than you and Rebekah. This is about the State of Alabama.” The Governor replied, “Ray, I know. I need you to go upstairs and break-up with Rebekah for me.” Lewis replied, “I will go up and talk to her.”
Governor Bentley responded to the suit, saying, “Ray Lewis has presented a baseless, malicious, slanderous, salacious and poorly constructed civil complaint against myself and others in a thinly veiled attempt to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars from State of Alabama taxpayers, myself and my family."