By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Chief, Spencer Collier, wants a Montgomery Circuit Court jury to decide what he is owed for his wrongful termination. He also wants them to hear how Gov. Robert Bentley, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, his replacement Stan Stabler, and others, defamed his character when they “maliciously published numerous false and defamatory statements accusing Collier of misusing State funds, and that ALEA was conducting a ‘criminal investigation’ of Collier,’” according to the lawsuit filed today.
Collier is seeking damages for actions taken by Bentley, Stabler, Mason, and others.
The events surrounding Collier’s ouster as Alabama’s top law enforcement officer has been well documented, not only by this publication, but around the State, and the nation.
Individuals named in the suit are, Bentley, Mason, and Stabler, but also named are Bentley’s 501(4) ACEgov; his campaign committee, Bentley for Governor Inc.; and Mason’s RCM Communications. Bentley and Stabler are not being sued in their official capacity with the State, but individually.
“No monetary damages are sought against the State of Alabama. Their wrongful acts and omissions were committed while in the performance, in the line and scope of their employment, and was willful, malicious, fraudulent, in bad faith and/or beyond their authority,” according to the filing.
There is also a long list of Fictitious Defendants. According to law.com, Fictitious Defendants, is used, “when a party suing (plaintiff) is not sure if he/she knows if there are other persons involved in the incident or the business being sued…with an allegation in the complaint that if and when the true names are discovered, they will be inserted in the complaint by amendment. Naming Fictitious Defendants stops the statute of limitations (the time in which a party has to file a lawsuit) from running out, even though the true name is not yet known…sometimes during the investigation or discovery (taking depositions or asking written questions under oath) new information about a potential defendant is found and the real name substituted.”
Among the Fictitious Defendants are entities who paid Rebekah Mason from January 1, 2010, to the present, any persons, firms, corporations, or other entities who paid or contributed money directly or indirectly to Mason, her businesses or any of her husband Jon Mason’s businesses including ACEGOV, Bentley for Governor, Inc. and/or any other entity.
Other unnamed defendants are those who conducted and/or participated in the “internal investigation” that led to the false and defamatory accusations by Defendants Bentley and Stabler and that led to the firing of Collier, and other persons, firms, corporations or other entities whose wrongful conduct caused harm to the Collier.
Bentley through Stabler stated, after only four days on the job, that individuals close to Collier were fired because he discovered potential wrong doing. Stabler again, at Bentley’s urging, issued similar statements after Collier was fired.
In his lawsuit, Collier recounts how he confronted the Governor after a trooper intercepted a sexually charged text message from Mason. Reportedly, Stabler was the one who reported the “sexting” message to his boss, Ray Lewis, who in turn reported it to Collier.
According to reliable sources, Bentley left his cell phone in his State SUV to hurry into a conference at Point Clear. Stabler heard the text message alert and picked up the phone to find the sextext message from Mason.
Collier also details his conversation with Bentley about the audio recording on which Bentley is heard making suggestive advances to Mason over Facetime. In recounting the conversation for the court, Collier says, “Bentley initially expressed shame and remorse after being confronted, assuring Collier that he would end the affair with Mason. He also states it was in this conversation that he informed Bentley of the potential for severe repercussions i.e., a misuse of “State property and/or money for the illicit purpose of promoting and maintaining this affair.”
Collier contends that he was fired for doing his duty to provide an affidavit in the Speaker Mike Hubbard felony case. He claims not only was he wrongfully terminated, but that his reputation his been tarnished. He seeks damages for actions taken by Bentley, Stabler, Mason, and others.