Governor’s mansion visitor logs will remain secret for now, ALEA denies request to release

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Ever wonder who visits the Governor in his taxpayer-funded mansion?

Well, it’s none of your business.

At least that’s what the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) has told WHNT News 19 in response to our Alabama Open Records Law request for the mansion’s visitor logs covering January 2012 to October 2016.

In a mailed response four months after our initial request, ALEA says releasing the logs of who visited the governor at the mansion would compromise security.

The request touches on an issue at the center of impeachment claims against Bentley -- that he may have used state resources to further an alleged affair.

But the request isn’t just about trying to figure out the number of visits Rebekah Mason -- Bentley’s former top political advisor and alleged mistress -- made to the mansion.

Bentley fired Alabama's top law enforcement official, Spencer Collier, on March 22, 2016. The governor cited an ALEA report that he said had found possible criminal misuse of funds.

Collier is the first high-ranking official in the administration to make the claim that Bentley and Mason were involved in an affair.

In the report used to justify Collier's firing, an ALEA staffer told investigators that the head of the governor's security detail, Wendall Ray Lewis, had grown uncomfortable with things he was being told to do by Collier. The staffer claimed Collier told Lewis to delete certain things, including mansion logs, and that Lewis wouldn’t do it.

Collier adamantly denied those claims to WHNT News 19, saying it was confusion over a change in the logging system.

In October, then-Attorney General Luther Strange said there was no merit to the claims that Spencer Collier committed any crimes in office.

But the agency that compiled the report and included the allegation that mansion log records had been altered -- now says the public has no right to view those records.

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