MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The fallout continues for former governor Robert Bentley. New details of his relationship with his top political advisor have emerged as well the reasoning surrounding his decision to fire the former head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Spencer Collier.
Our news partner Al.com obtained Bentley's deposition in Collier's civil suit against him. Collier claims Bentley and Rebekah Mason conspired to make false allegations against him to justify firing him.
The former governor was under oath and he was asked:
- What exactly happened between him and Mason?
- Why did he fire Collier?
- Did he force the new head of ALEA to investigate the state's former top cop?
Robert Bentley says his romantic relationship with Rebekah Mason began during his campaign in 2013. During the deposition he explained, "That's when the affection became more -- more involved and, you know, it did involve touching and kissing".
He says the affair was not sexual in nature. Bentley says quote, "We did not have sexual intercourse, we didn't have oral sex, we didn't have -- I never touched her in her genital areas or any place like that."
He calls it a close affectionate friendship. He says they loved each other and still do. Now they work together. Bentley says Mason is an office manager at his dermatology office in Tuscaloosa.
When it comes to Collier, Bentley says he never asked his successor at the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to investigate the former top cop.
During the questioning, Bentley was asked did he ever ask your permission or seek your authority on actually investigating Spencer. Bentley answered 'no'.
The former governor says he fired Collier for two reasons. The first was due to information that came to light during the investigation into Collier. Bentley says the other reason is that Collier lied. The former governor says he suggested Collier not provide an affidavit to prosecutors during the investigation of then-Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, but Collier did.
When Bentley asked him about it, he says Collier told him prosecutor Matt Hart threatened him, which Bentley says turned out not to be true.
This lawsuit is far from over. The depositions are just part of the evidence gathering for the case.