Settlement reached in Spencer Collier’s lawsuit against former Gov. Bentley, allegations spurred impeachment effort

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The lawsuit filed by Spencer Collier against then-Gov. Robert Bentley, Bentley’s alleged mistress Rebekah Mason and former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency head Stan Stabler, has been settled, lawyers in the case said Wednesday.

The lawsuit was filed by Collier after he was dismissed from the top job at ALEA.

Attorneys for Bentley and Collier would not disclose any settlement terms Wednesday.

Collier’s criticisms of Bentley, including alleging undue influence on the governor by Mason – his chief political advisor – started a chain of events that included an impeachment push against Bentley and ultimately, his resignation.

Bentley resigned from office in April 2017, about 13 months after Collier’s press conference complaining about his firing and Bentley’s relationship with Mason. Collier called Mason the "de facto governor."

Collier made the first public allegation regarding the married governor’s relationship with Mason. That relationship became the focus of the impeachment investigation into Bentley, including misuse of state resources and security personnel. But, it was the revelation of a long series of intimate texts between Mason and Bentley that led to the governor’s final days in office.

Collier had sued for defamation and wrongful termination. The termination claims were thrown out, but a Montgomery judge had allowed the defamation claims to move forward.

In firing Collier, Bentley claimed that Collier had misused state resources while heading ALEA. A subsequent ALEA investigation called for by Stabler, made a number of allegations about Collier’s time in office.

The matter was then referred to the Alabama Attorney General’s office, which eventually issued a statement clearing Collier of any wrongdoing.

The lawsuit also named Michael Robinson, a former ALEA attorney who helped lead the ALEA investigation into Collier.

Former Alabama solicitor general John Neiman represented Bentley and Stabler in the lawsuit.

He offered the following to WHNT News 19 Wednesday.

“The settlement does not represent an admission of liability or wrongdoing by anyone involved, and my clients continue to deny the allegations made against them,” Neiman said.

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