By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—When Gov. Robert Bentley replaced his long-time friend of 15 years, Spencer Collier, at ALEA, he chose his new “BFF” Stan Stabler.
Stabler’s relationship to Bentley and Rebekah Caldwell Mason has gone from scandalous to prosperous.
Stabler, according to Collier and other ALEA employees, is the man who first reported sexting messages between the Governor and Mason. He reported the incident to then Protective Services Chief Ray Lewis. Lewis, in turn, gave the information to Collier, and he confronted Bentley sometime later.
Before being assigned to Bentley’s security detail in 2013, Stabler served as a Sergeant in the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (now SBI). His annual salary was $74,280. Once he was assigned to Bentley’s security detail, Stabler immediately received a 15 percent raise bringing his salary to $85,422 annually.
In April of 2015, Collier appointed Lt. Col. Jack Clark to the position of Protective Services Chief, with Bentley’s blessing, replacing Lewis who retired. Many at ALEA say Lewis left, in part, because he could no longer tolerate the Bentley/Mason affair.
Bentley later had Collier remove Clark as head of Protective Services, appointing Stabler.
It is important to note that Stabler, a Sergeant, replaced a Lieutenant Colonel.
The only explanation Bentley gave Collier for Stabler’s promotion was “trust,” and the need to have someone with whom he could be “completely comfortable.”
This was after Stabler reported the sexting message to his boss.
Stabler also received a lucrative pay increase to an annual salary of $115,000 with total compensation of $118,200 (once clothing allowance and subsistence were added).
When Collier was placed on leave in February, he recommended Bentley appoint the more experienced Clark to the roll of acting ALEA chief. Bentley said no.
Unknown to Collier was the fact that Bentley had “trust” issues with everyone except Stabler.
After Collier was fired for providing an affidavit in the Speaker Mike Hubbard case, Stabler was promoted again with a salary of $164,500, which comes to, $167,700 annually, with subsistence and clothing allowances.
Current and former ALEA personnel provided some of this information in confidence.
Salaries are public record.