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Montgomery judge denies request to dismiss Collier lawsuit

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MONGOMERY, Ala. — A Montgomery judge ruled that the majority of counts in former ALEA Secretary Spencer Collier’s civil lawsuit against Robert Bentley, Rebekah Mason and three other defendants can move forward.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin’s ruling comes after a hearing on Monday in which attorneys for Bentley, Mason, former ALEA Secretary Stan Stabler and ALEA employee Michael Robinson asked for the dismissal Collier’s lawsuit. Bentley’s lawyers claimed Bentley did nothing wrong, but even if he did, he can’t be sued because governors have personal immunity from actions taken while in office.
Griffin rejected the idea of blanket immunity and preserved several counts of Collier’s lawsuit including three counts of defamation, three counts of invasion of privacy and one count of conspiracy. Collier claims that Bentley, Mason and the other defendants tried to destroy his credibility and ruin his reputation by making false statements about him in the press and by using law enforcement officials to engage in a sham investigation of him. Collier has been cleared by a Grand Jury of any wrongdoing.
Griffin rejected all motions by Mason, her company RCM Communications, Stabler and Robinson to dismiss them as parties in Collier’s lawsuit.  He continued a stay in the civil case against Mason until criminal investigations against her are complete.