Alabama Gov. Sued Over Former Top Cop’s Firing

     (CN) — In the latest twist in the saga surrounding Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, the former head of the state’s Law Enforcement Agency is suing him for wrongful termination and defamation.
     It was Spencer Collier, previously the Alabama’s top law enforcement officer, who opened the lid on a sex scandal that has consumed the governor ever since.
     In a lawsuit filed in the Montgomery County Circuit Court, Collier claims he was fired after he refused Bentley ‘s request to provide false information to the state Attorney General against one of the governor’s political rivals, House Speaker Mike Hubbard.
     Hubbard had been the subject of an ethics investigation.
     According to the suit, “Bentley told Collier to tell the Attorney General’s Office that the ALEA investigation was still ongoing despite the fact that the ALEA investigation was closed. Bentley also instructed Collier to not provide an affidavit.”
     Collier claims that after he went ahead and provided “a truthful affidavit” to the attorney general’s office, Bentley and the governor’s longtime aide, Rebekah Mason, screamed at him “and openly chastised him and his staff for not following Bentley’s orders.”
     Collier was subsequently placed on “medical leave” and later fired from his job.
     A day after he was let go, Collier held a press conference in which he accused Bentley of having an affair with Mason, and claimed to have knowledge of a sexually-charged text message and an audio recording that Collier described as “an inappropriate sexual conversation.”
     Bentley responded with a press conference of his own that same day, in which he admitted to making “inappropriate” comments to Mason and apologized to the people of Alabama.
     But Collier says the governor couldn’t let the situation go at that. During the same news conference, he said, Bentley told reporters that an internal investigation of the former top cop had been looking at the possible misuse of funds.
     “The purpose of these statements was to disparage Collier and to give Bentley a pretext for firing Collier,” the complaint says.
     In response to the April 19 lawsuit, Bentley issued a short statement saying that Collier was fired for cause.
      “Mr. Collier was terminated of his duties at ALEA for cause,” Bentley stated. “Once the facts and circumstances become public, I am confident that the justification for terminating him will be shown. We will aggressively defend this lawsuit.”

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