Governor’s Office explanation for not turning over mansion logs doesn’t match past actions

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Governor's Office has offered an explanation for why they didn't turn over mansion logs to the committee investigating Governor Robert Bentley for possible impeachment, but that explanation doesn't match their actions.

WHNT News 19 learned this week that the Governor's Office has not turned over visitor logs for the Governor's mansion to the committee, despite the committee specifically listing them as a request in subpoenas they drew up.

This comes just days after our Open Records Request to review the logs was denied by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), which says releasing the logs would compromise security.

The logs speak to a number of controversies associated with the effort to impeach the governor.

When we pressed the Governor's Office for an explanation of why the logs had not been handed over to the committee, a spokesperson told WHNT News 19, "ALEA maintains the mansion logs and is the custodian thereof. As such, the Governor`s Office did not turn over the logs."

However, the Governor's Office did provide the committee with the ALEA integrity report used to fire Spencer Collier, even though they previously told WHNT they were not the custodian of that report.

Collier, the former head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, is the first high-ranking public official to accuse the governor of having an affair with his senior policy advisor, calling her the 'de facto governor.'

The report that the Governor's Office gave to the committee and then released to the media accuses Collier of everything from drug abuse to misuse of funds to ordering the mansion logs altered. Those accusations often come solely from unverified second- or third-hand accounts.

But back when Collier lost his job in early 2016, we requested that report. The Governor's Office sent us a letter denying the request. The letter says ALEA is the appropriate custodian.

So the Governor's Office turned over the ALEA report leveling massive allegations against the man who alleged Bentley's affair, even though they say they weren't the custodian of that document.

When it came time to turn over mansion logs, they say they didn't turn them over, because they weren't the custodian.

We asked for clarification on the difference. The spokesperson skipped right over the question.