MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Fired Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) head Spencer Collier held a news conference at his attorney’s office on Wednesday to address his firing and level serious accusations against Governor Robert Bentley’s office.
The governor announced he had fired Collier on Tuesday night, hours after the acting head of ALEA, Stan Stabler, said in a statement that an internal report found possible misuse of state funds.
ALEA says it turned that report over to the Attorney General’s office. The AG’s office told us they didn’t have a comment, and ALEA told us they didn’t have a digital copy of the report and that they wouldn’t release it.
WHNT News 19 asked the governor’s office for a copy of the report that he used to justify Collier’s filing. We haven’t heard back.
Collier responded to his firing today, and dropped a number of bombshells about the governor’s administration in the process, including alleging an affair with a person who had dramatic impact on public policy.
Collier says the man Bentley would later put in charge of ALEA, Stan Stabler, first saw an inappropriate text between Governor Bentley and his chief advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason. However, he says it was Bentley’s family that recorded conversations that confirmed the affair.
He says he told the governor it would be a crime to use state resources to facilitate the affair. Collier claims that he has no knowledge of Bentley committing crimes of that nature, though he did say he’s had complaints from state troopers suggesting that.
According to Collier, Mason wielded a level of influence over the governor and the state that he has never seen. He adds that the governor made it clear he would fire anyone who questioned Mason’s influence.
He also says Mason was deeply involved in all budget discussions, when funds to agencies were being cut, though her role is an advisory one to the governor.
“Governor Bentley was elected by the people. Rebekah Mason was not elected by anyone. The level of power she is operating at, makes her a de-facto governor,” Collier said.
By Collier’s account, his tension with Bentley came to a peak because the governor told him to lie about the state of an investigation into the Attorney General’s office and its actions. Collier says he refused.
“I love you like a father, but I won’t lie to a grand jury for you. I refuse to lie to the Attorney General’s office,” Collier said Wednesday as he described what he told Bentley.
Collier was put on medical leave after that encounter.
He says he learned that he was being accused of misusing funds on social media.
He also says he learned he was fired on social media.
Collier did stop short of saying the governor should resign, but he did say, “This is not the way government should work. This is not the way law enforcement should work.”
Governor Bentley is expected to hold a news conference today at 3:30 p.m. in Montgomery.