By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
The saga of former Gov. Robert Bentley and Rebekah Mason isn’t dead just yet.
There is still a wrongful termination and defamation lawsuit, filed by former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency secretary Spencer Collier against Bentley and several others. And on Wednesday, attorneys for Collier’s successor, Stan Stabler, who was also named in the lawsuit, filed a motion seeking to compel Collier to testify to specific questions in an upcoming deposition.
Those questions, according to the filing, have to do with conversations that Collier held at the time with officials at the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.
Stabler wants to know about those conversations. Collier has refused to answer.
“Because Collier has made the grand jury’s decisions and the Attorney General’s public statement a central component of his claims, it is important for Stabler to determine whether Collier’s conversations with the Attorney General’s Office shed light on the conclusions announced by the Attorney General’s Office about the grand jury’s decisions,” the motion reads.
The conflict stems from Bentley’s decision to fire Collier in March 2016. That decision led to the lawsuit and to the downfall of Bentley and the public exposure of his (alleged) affair with his staffer, Rebekah Mason.
In the wake of Collier’s accusations exposing Bentley’s alleged affair, Collier has claimed that Bentley, with the help of Stabler, launched a smear campaign against him. Part of that alleged campaign was public comments made by Bentley and Stabler concerning the potential misuse of funds at ALEA under Collier’s watch.
A grand jury investigation into those claims found no fraud, and according to the AG’s office, found no credible basis for even the investigation. Collier, of course, cites those conclusions in his lawsuit.
But in a recent deposition, Collier also said he had approximately 10 conversations with the AG’s office outside of the grand jury’s presence and revealed that he was providing the AG’s office with information for its investigation into Bentley.
So, Stabler wants to know what Collier told the AG’s office. Collier claims that info is protected by the Grand Jury Secrecy Act.
Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Roman Shaul will need to rule prior to next Wednesday’s scheduled deposition of Collier.