HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - WHNT News 19 is Taking Action to unravel one key mystery in the recent scandal involving Alabama's governor.
Can the governor justify firing former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Secretary Spencer Collier?
A single document could go a long way toward answering that question, but multiple state agencies have denied our requests to release it so far. In fact, ALEA told us they don't even have a digital copy.
On Monday, we filed three separate requests under the Open Records Act to obtain that report. We sent one to ALEA, one to the Attorney General's Office, and one to the Governor's Office.
We believe the report is critical to understanding the broader context of the scandal surrounding Governor Robert Bentley. We've heard a lot about his alleged affair with a top advisor, but the fate of Alabama's former top cop Spencer Collier seems to get lost in the shuffle.
After all, it was Collier who first gave details implicating the governor in an affair.
Collier was on medical leave when his successor, Stan Stabler, had a review ordered to look into spending at the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Weeks later, Stabler said the review showed possible misuse of state funds. By the end of that same day, the governor cited the report to fire Collier.
But Collier says it really comes down to the governor asking him to lie and not give an affidavit in the Mike Hubbard corruption case.
Collier did give that affidavit.
Meanwhile, another audit from the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts recently found that ALEA's finances did not have any discrepancies under Collier.
So why did the governor fire him?
If Bentley is telling the truth, the reason should be in the report by ALEA's Integrity Unit, but we haven't been able to get it from ALEA, the Attorney General, or the Governor's Office, even after approaching all three the week of the scandal.
So now we've taken the next legal steps to getting that document by filing official Open Records Requests with all three.
In response, a spokesperson for ALEA told us they would send it to their legal team.
The Governor's Office said they would process it with the completion of some additional paperwork, which we have provided.
We have not heard back from the Attorney General's Office.
We are not giving up.