By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
At approximately 9:00AM this morning Michele Brown sent an email signed “Robert,” to State legislators canceling today’s conference call.
Bentley claims the reason for scraping the nastily scheduled phone was because, “I have heard from a number of you and I appreciate your feedback and your support. Also, due to the holiday, a number of you have let me know you will not be available for a Conference Call this morning. Because of that, this morning’s scheduled conference call is not necessary.”
On Thanksgiving Day, before most lawmakers forked their first bite of Turkey, Governor Robert Bentley sent an email alerting State Legislators of a conference call to be held today at 10:00 AM.
The purpose of the email and today’s conference call is to assure lawmakers that allegations made by Bentley’s former Head of Security Detail, Wendall Ray Lewis, is “meritless” and just a “shakedown” by a disgruntled employee.
“I wanted to email you to personally assure you, the allegations, stories and accounts contained in the suit are completely and utterly false,” wrote Bentley. “I want to make myself available to you all as quickly as I can. I have set up a conference call for 10:00 AM tomorrow, ‘so you will be able to hear directly from me and ask questions if you have them.”
Ray Lewis’s lawsuit adds multiple, detail, layers, to the many allegations already made by former ALEA Secretary, Spencer Collier.
When Collier came forward with his statements about the alleged affair between Rebekah Caldwell Mason and the Governor, a hastily-contrived press conference was held in which Bentley gave a non-denial/denial of his relationship with the married woman of three. Lewis, under oath, contends that the relationship went far beyond the ‘inappropriate’ language he confessed to at his April press conference.
Bentley, through his attorney, issued two statements after the salacious specifics of Lewis’ lawsuit became public.
Now, in what appears is an effort to cauterize the latest wound to his already faltering administration, Bentley wrote legislator’s saying, “While my Office issued two strong statements regarding this absolutely meritless suit, the media coverage was sensational, and I’m afraid that perhaps my message got lost, or ignored, in the confusion.”
In the email, Bentley praises the leadership of House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, tells lawmaker how much he appreciated their dedication “both to our State and to your Districts” and reminded them of the “many great days ahead of us.”
Legislators who spoke to the Alabama Political Reporter expressed their disgust at Bentley’s behavior and contempt for his ‘charm offensive” as one representative called it. The over half a dozen lawmaker’s who spoke with APR, to a person, believes Bentley is lying, and that Lewis is telling the truth.
In July, Lewis testified before a Montgomery County Grand Jury conducted by Matt Hart chief of the Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Division. Lewis testified for the better part of a day, and it’s widely believed that Lewis relayed much of same information to the Grand Jury that he detailed in his wrongful termination suit.
Bentley also was summoned to the Grand Jury, and according to his staff, was angry and shaken by the questions asked by Hart.
Bentley began his email by saying, “Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all, like me, are looking forward to a day spent with family. First, let me say thank you all for your hard work serving the wonderful and kind people of Alabama. I appreciate your dedication both to our State and to your Districts. Signed, “Robert.”
He closes by writing, “Thank you all again, for your support and most of all your prayers. And thank you for everything you do for our wonderful state.”
As one lawmaker exclaimed, ‘He has no family left, he’s a national disgrace and the arrogant bastard has the gall to disrupt my Thanksgiving. ****him.”
The email wasn’t sent by Bentley or by his Legislative Director Wesley Helton, who wrote the preface, but by Michele Brown who sent it on behalf of Helton, who said he was passing it on for Bentley.
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